This month I have taken the initiative to bring to light awareness on causes that matter! October is a month that is dedicated to breast cancer, domestic violence and bullying awareness. It may surprise some that we may not always be able to see the scars of someone affected by domestic violence. There may be people involved in relationships where domestic violence is an issue and don’t even identify themselves as the victim! There are organizations that can help identify if you are indeed in a relationship where domestic violence is a concern. You can have an assessment done by contacting your local department of social services and speaking with a case worker or contacting your local crisis response center for assistance. They will listen to you and keep all of your information confidential.
Why Domestic Violence Matters… Domestic violence is the willful intimidation, physical assault, battery, sexual assault, and/or other abusive behavior perpetrated by an intimate partner against another. It is an epidemic affecting individuals in every community, regardless of age, economic status, race, religion, nationality or educational background. Violence against women is often accompanied by emotionally abusive and controlling behavior, and thus is part of a systematic pattern of dominance and control. Domestic violence results in physical injury, psychological trauma, and sometimes death. The consequences of domestic violence can cross generations and truly last a lifetime. ** Information taken from the National Coalition against Domestic Violence website**
Did You Know…? One in every four women will experience domestic violence in their lifetime? An estimated 1.3 million women are victims of physical assault by an intimate partner each year. 85% of domestic violence victims are women. Historically, females have been most often victimized by someone they knew. Females who are 20-24 years of age are the greatest risk of non fatal intimate partner violence. Most cases of domestic violence are never reported to the police. ** Information taken from the National Coalition against Domestic Violence website**
Power and Control:
Coercion and threats – making and/or carrying out threats to do something to hurt the other person. Threatening to leave your partner. Commit suicide or report your partner to welfare. Making them drop charges or do illegal things.
Intimidation – Making partner afraid by giving certain looks, actions and gestures. Smashing things. Destroying property , abusing pets and displaying weapons.
Emotional Abuse – Putting your partner down. Making them feel bad about themselves. Name calling, making them feel like they are crazy, and playing mind games. Humiliating your partner and making them feel guilty.
Isolation – Controlling what your partner does, who they see or talk to. What they read or where they go. Limiting outside involvement using jealousy to justify actions.
Minimizing, Denying & Blaming – Making light of the abuse and not taking the concerns about it seriously. Saying the abuse didn’t happen. Shifting responsibility for abusive behavior saying they caused it.
Using Children – Making your partner feel guilty about the children. Using the children to relay messages. Using visitation to harass him/her. Threatening to take the children away.
Economic Abuse – Preventing him/her from getting or keeping a job. Making your partner ask for money or giving an allowance.
Male Privilege – Treating her like a servant: making all the big decisions. Acting like the “master of the castle” and being the one to define men and women’s roles. **
If you or anyone you know finds themselves in this type of position don’t be afraid to get help! Create a safety plan and seek out your “trusted” support system. There are support groups and assistance for victims in place. There are also available resources for friends and family. There are programs, support and services (faith-based) including shelters available. Start with your local crisis response center. The Public Policy Office of the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV) is a national leader in the effort to create and influence Federal legislation that positively affects the lives of domestic violence victims and children. They work closely with advocates at the local, state and national level to identify the issues facing domestic violence victims, their children and the people who serve them and to develop a legislative agenda to address these issues. ** Information taken from the National Coalition against Domestic Violence website**
For more information, you can also call the National Domestic Violence Hotline 1-800-799-7233, National Sexual Assault Hotline 1-800-656-4673 or The National Teen Dating Abuse Hotline at 1-866-331-9474.