The month of October is recognized as National Domestic Violence Awareness Month (DVAM). With that being said, this month, this blog will discuss: the dynamics of domestic, information and resources for survivors of abuse, the impact of abuse on children, among other topics related to this pressing public health issue.
Child witnesses to domestic violence often have life-long effects. Please read the data below regarding chid witnesses to domestic violence.
• Between 3.3 million and 25 million children experience domestic violence in their homes each year.
• The average age of a homeless person in the U.S. is 9 years old. 50 percent of homeless women and children are
fleeing abuse in the home.
• Children who live in homes where their mothers are battered are 50% more likely to be beaten themselves. Research indicates that 50 to 70 percent of men who physically abuse their wives also frequently abuse their children.
• In one study, 27% of domestic homicide victims were children. When children are killed during a domestic dispute, 90% are under age 10; 56% are under age 2. Children from homes where their mothers is beaten suffer eating and sleeping disorders, have headaches, ulcers, rashes, depression, and anxiety caused by the trauma of witnessing abuse.
• They have a higher risk of abusing substances and becoming juvenile delinquents.
• Eighty percent of teen runaways and homeless youth come from violent homes.
•Girls from homes with domestic violence are 6.5 times more likely to be sexually assaulted and more likely to become pregnant as teenagers.
•A boy from a home where his mother is battered is 74% more likely to commit violence, including rape.
•Boys who grow up in non-violent homes have one chance in 400 of becoming abusive adults, but boys who grow up in violent homes have one chance in two of becoming abusive adults.
•Sixty-three percent of boys ages 11-20 arrested for homicide have killed their mother’s abuser.
How are children affected by domestic violence?
• They exhibit “failure to thrive” symptoms, even as infants.
• They may exhibit “general aggressiveness” or violence to siblings or the
“victim parent” in ways that emulate the abusive parent.
• They may exhibit a pattern of “over-compliance” and fearfulness.
• They often suffer from low self-esteem.
• They often suffer poor health.
• They may have poor impulse control.
• They often experience academic problems.
• They live frequently ”disrupted lives” when the victim is forced to flee the home.
• They, along with their mothers, comprise nearly 40% of the homeless population in the U.S.
• They are sometimes injured during violent incidents in the home or the family
• They are more often abducted by the abuser parent than other children.
• They may have a fear and distrust of close relationships.
• They may become conflicted in taking sides with parents.
• They experience confusion over correct behavior.
• They experience psychosomatic complaints, i.e., stomachaches, headaches, stuttering, anxiety, fear, etc.
• They experience “night terrors” (waking up screaming in the night).
• They may wet the bed.
• They kill themselves more often than children who do not live with abuse.
• They are likely to repeat learned behaviors.
• They blame themselves for the violence or the inability to stop it and protect the victim parent.
•They often experience PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder).
• They are more likely to be victim of child physical and sexual abuse, most often by the abuser parent and less often by the victim.
• They are four times as likely to be arrested eventually.
• They are more likely to abuse alcohol and drugs.
• They are more likely to engage in antisocial behavior.
• They are more likely to commit crime against other persons and sexual assaults.
Photo Credit: Microsoft Clip Art
Domestic violence poses a clear and present danger for countless persons. The pervasive problem of domestic violence takes everyone to make it stop. Each year, across the country, the month of October is recognized as Domestic Violence Awareness Month (DVAM).
Domestic Violence Awareness Month evolved from the first Day of Unity which was first observed in October, 1981 and spear-headed by the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV). The intent of establishing the Day of Unity was to connect battered women’s advocates across the nation who were working to end violence against women and their children.
Soon, the Day of Unity became a week-long event where a range of activities were held at the local, state, and national levels. The activities conducted had common themes: mourning those who have died because of domestic violence, celebrating those who have survived, and connecting those who work to end violence.
Domestic violence can be eradicated with an equal amount of conscience, mind, heart, and collective action. During National Domestic Violence Awareness Month, each of us should commit ourselves to halting violence within our homes, our communities, and our nation.
Photo Credit: Microsoft Clip Art
Because October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month, many of the posts in this blog will address issues related to breaking the cycle of violence and exposing myths about this phenomenon. Access to information is integral to breaking the cycle of violence. Toward that goal, we are directing your attention to very help informational resources related to domestic violence intervention, prevention, and community outreach. In this blog post, we will highlight the National Domestic Violence Hotline’s website.
The National Domestic Violence Hotline’s website contains a wealth of resources for both victims of domestic violence and their advocates. The National Hotlines website includes but is not limited to: the definition of domestic violence; tips on how you can help; a list of domestic violence hotlines; reference materials; and helpful links. For further information, please visit the National Domestic Violence Hotline website at http://www.thehotline.org/.
Photo Credit: Microsoft Clip Art
This is Voter Registration Day. Hard won voting rights have been under attack throughout the country. In the past few years, twenty-two (22 ) states have passed new laws restricting the right to vote and changing voter registration rules.
With that being said, even if you have registered vote you should check that you and the people most important to you are prepared to vote this year. Have you moved since last Election Day? Make sure you are registered to vote at your new address. Maybe your friends have moved recently and need to update their voting information.
This is National Voter Registration Week – get informed, get organized, get registered, get everyone you know registered. And then VOTE on November 6th. Take action that can and will change the future. If you are not already registered, get registered to vote. Seize the opportunity to cast your vote.
As was aptly stated by President Johnson when discussing the Voting Rights Act of 1965, “The vote is the most powerful instrument ever devised by man for breaking down injustice and destroying the terrible walls which imprison men because they are different from other men.”
On election day, vote take a friend with you. Your vote can be decisive, stand up, speak out, be heard— cast your vote!
Let freedom ring in 2014.
Sources: Wikipedia.Children’s Defense Fund
Photo Credit Microsoft Clip Art
Join the battle against breast cancer. The month of October has been designated as National Breast Cancer Awareness Month (NBCAM). It has been reported that the first NBCAM program took place in October 1985. It was a week-long event. The overarching objective of the event was to fill the information void in public communication about breast cancer.
Despite on-going cancer research, cancer still attacks 10,000,000 people per year worldwide. Annually, 1.3 million Americans are diagnosed with cancer and nearly 555,000 people will die in our nation this year alone. According to the CDC, breast cancer is the most common form of cancer in women.
In 2006 (the most recent year numbers are available)—
- 191,410 women were diagnosed with breast cancer.*†
- 40,820 women died from breast cancer.*†
Although African-American women have a slightly lower incidence of breast cancer after age 40 than Caucasian women, they have a slightly higher incidence rate of breast cancer before age 40.[iii] However, African-American women are more likely to die from breast cancer at every age. Breast cancer is much less common in males; by comparison, the disease is about 100 times more common among women.[iv] According to the American Cancer Society, an estimated 1,910 new cases of invasive breast cancer are expected to be diagnosed among men in the United States in 2009.[v]
If you are concerned about developing breast cancer, or if you know someone who has been diagnosed with the disease, one way to deal with your concerns is to gather as much information as is available. For more information, you can visit the websites for: American Cancer Society, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , and the National Cancer Institute.
†Source(s): U.S. Cancer Statistics Working Group. United States Cancer Statistics: 1999–2006 Incidence and Mortality Web-based Report. Atlanta (GA): Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and National Cancer Institute; 2010. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/uscs. www.nbcam.org.
*Note: Incidence counts cover approximately 96% of the U.S. population and death counts cover 100% of the U.S. population. Use caution in comparing incidence and death counts.
Photo credit: Microsoft Clip Art