The month of October owns Domestic Violence Awareness Month, Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month, and plenty more. I would like to briefly talk about Domestic Violence Awareness. About 4 1/2 years ago when I was finishing up my Social Work degree I spent a year working for an organization that helped victims of domestic violence. My job was the Children’s Advocate in the safe house shelter. It was an old Victorian style house on a small hill tucked away that was re-done and turned into a shelter. It housed about 30 women and children. Its location was unknown to anyone that did not work there and I can even remember the night that we had police banging on the doors to get in but by law we were able to keep them out to protect the location of the women and children. It was a very intense year when I was with them and I learned so much. I had worked with children prior to that for years but to work with their mothers who were fleeing from abusive relationships was a whole other story.
Domestic Violence is not picky; it is a dark cloud that can hover over the home of anyone regardless of age, race, gender, economical status, etc. Unfortunately 1 in 4 women will experience domestic violence in their lifetime and women ages 20-24, are at the greatest risk. Domestic Violence can be physical, sexual, emotional, economical, intimidation, isolation, or any combination.
Domestic Violence affects children more than we know. Every year more than 3 million children will witness domestic violence in their home. Those children who live in a home with domestic violence are also victims of abuse or neglect at a rate of 30-60%. Domestic Violence is definitely an effective form of violence; it’s a vicious cycle. Without help, boys who witness domestic violence are far more likely to become the abuser in their adult relationships. Without help, girls who witness domestic violence have a high risk of being abused as a teenager and/or adult. The absolute worst fact about domestic violence is that most incidents are NEVER reported.
We as women and human beings can help to change the statistics. Help change the facts. Speak up, speak out, and help make a difference for the women and children affected by domestic violence. Many women feel very alone so showing support is a great way to start a change. Each of us has the power to reach out to someone we love and tell them that abuse is not their fault. Love shouldn’t hurt. And safety is possible. The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence has been around since 1978 and has tons of information on their website ncadv.org. There is also the National Domestic Violence Hotline 1-800-799-7233.
If you or someone you know is being effected by domestic violence, please seek help. You are not alone.
The Hot Mess Mom
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