We have to remove the stigma around domestic violence. Many statistics show that 1 in 4 women will be abused in their lifetime. Despite this high number, abuse is still a taboo subject. We need to make domestic violence an issue that we can talk about openly so that victims and survivors won’t feel judged for experiencing abuse. We should make sure that anyone who reaches out for support is met with understanding and compassion.
This week’s theme is that information equals power. For DVAM Challenge #4, please share this image. You may right click it and save it to your computer to be shared electronically via email, Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Flickr or more. You could also actually print it out and tape it to a mirror in your house, or pin it to a bulletin board at your church, local cafe, workplace, etc.
Please share this message. Promote the idea that domestic violence can happen to anyone, and that there is support available.
DVAM challenge #3: Answer true or false to the statements below and then continue reading on to see how you did.
1. Domestic violence is not a problem in your community.
2. Couples counseling is recommended by The Hotline for abusive relationships.
3. Sometimes the victim provokes their partner into abusing them.
4. Yelling, putting down or belittling someone isn’t ever considered abuse.
5. On average, more than 3 women are murdered by their partners every day.
6. If the abuse was getting too bad, the victim would just leave.
7. The most dangerous time for a victim is often when their partner first lashes out.
8. Everyone deserves respect in a relationship.
9. If children aren’t being abused and don’t witness the abuse, they aren’t affected.
10. The cost of domestic violence is extremely high to society.
What do you think? How many are true and how many are false? Here’s the key:
1. False. Domestic violence happens in every community. Unfortunately many cases go unreported.
2. False. The Hotline does NOT recommend couple’s counseling when there is abuse in the relationship. It can be very dangerous to the partner being abused. An abuser may use what is said in therapy later against their partner. Individual counseling may be helpful but couple’s counseling is not recommended. Read more here.
3. False. Regardless of their actions, no one deserves to be physically, verbally or sexually abused.
4. False. Domestic violence is the pattern of behavior than an abuser uses to gain and maintain power and control over their partner. It can be physical, verbal or sexual.
5. True. Each year, domestic violence results in an estimated 1,200 deaths and 2 million injuries among women. Furthermore, domestic violence results in nearly 600,000 injuries among men (CDC).
6. False. Many victims love their partners despite the abuse or feel as if they have no support system or resources outside of the relationship and so they feel as if they can’t leave. Furthermore, the period immediately after leaving an abusive relationship is extremely dangerous.
7. False. Domestic violence typically worsens over time. Leaving is the most dangerous time for a victim because their abusive partner feels like they are losing power and control. The abuser may escalate the abuse in order to regain that power and control.
8. True. Absolutely no one deserves to be abused and there is no excuse for being physically, verbally or sexually violent toward a partner.
9. False. Children are extremely perceptive. Even if they don’t see the abuse happening, they feel its effects.
10. True. Each year, domestic violence costs more than $5.8 billion dollars, with $4.1 billion of that amount being spent directly on medical and mental health services (NCADV).
How did you do? Interested in learning more about domestic violence? Check out our website for more information or give us a call at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233).
This week, we’ll be focusing on how information is a powerful tool for survivors, victims and advocates alike. By knowing more about domestic violence, we’ll be able to identify it when we see it in our homes and communities, and we will know what options are available for those involved.
During this week of Domestic Violence Awareness Month, think about what you know about this issue. What questions do you still have? Do you know where to find the answers?
Remember the power you have in sharing what you know to those around you. Online channels like email, Facebook, Twitter and more can be so impactful. You never know who in your network may need to know more about domestic violence.
DVAM Challenge 2: Post one of these messages below as your Facebook status or Tweet it out to your followers. Don’t want to use social media? Then simply tell someone you love one of these facts below.
– More than 1 in 3 women & 1 in 4 men in the US have experienced rape, physical violence and/or stalking by an intimate partner (CDC, 2010)
– Intimate Partner Violence can affect health in many ways. The longer the violence goes on, the more serious the effects. (CDC, 2012)
– You have the right to a healthy relationship with a partner who treats you with respect.