October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month

by Placerville Newswire / Oct 06, 2017 / comments

[The Center]

In the time it takes you to watch one episode of 60 Minutes - 400 women in the U.S. will be beaten by their intimate partner.

Every year, since 1989 when the U.S. Congress passed a law declaring October as Domestic Violence Awareness Month (DVAM), advocates, domestic violence agencies and those touched by domestic violence work together to bring light to an issue that affects our communities every day.

To open Domestic Violence Awareness Month we thought we’d bring you some statistics and a few ways you can help someone who might be a victim.

 

Statistics:

  1. 3 women are murdered every day by their current or former intimate partner
  2. 72% of all murder-suicides involved an intimate partner; 94% of the victims of these crimes are female.
  3. 1 in 4 women and 1 in 7 men will be victims of SEVERE physical violence by an intimate partner during their lifetime.
  4. On a typical day, domestic violence hotlines receive approximately 21,000 calls, approximately 15 calls every minute.

 

Things You Can Say or Do to Support a Victim

  1. Show concern. “I’m afraid for your safety.”
  2. Commit to being supportive. “I will always be here for you.”
  3. “If you ever need to talk, I will listen and not give advice.”
  4. Value the victim. “This is not your fault, you don’t deserve to be treated this way.”
  5. Make observations. “I’m worried about you, you don’t laugh as much as you used to.”
  6. Ask questions that focus on her/his feelings. “That sounds scary to me, how do you feel about it?"
  7. Direct the victim to The Center’s 24/7 Crisis Support Hotline at (530) 626-1131 or (916) 939-6616. 

 

Things NOT to Say or Do

  1. “Just leave.” Every victim has different reasons why they may choose to stay in an abusive relationship, but it is important to remember that the abuse is not the victim's fault.
  2. Give an ultimatum. “If you don’t leave him/her, I won’t help you.” This assists the batterer in isolating the victim from friends and family and cuts off their support system making it more difficult for them to leave.
  3. Don’t bad-mouth the abuser. As tempting as it is, this may cause the victim to become defensive of the batterer and make it “unsafe” to confide in you.
  4. Disbelieve, or demand proof of the abuse. If they feel unsafe, that is all that should matter to you.
  5. Tell the victim what they “have to do.” Domestic violence is about power and control and if a victim is going to heal, they must regain control themselves. It is good to help the victim discover their options, but the decision must be theirs alone.

If you’d like more information on domestic violence and how you can help, here are a few good resources:

NoMore.org http://nomore.org/

The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence http://www.ncadv.org/

Break the Cycle.org http://www.breakthecycle.org/