Yet, domestic violence is a subject that we, as a society, are reluctant to talk about. As a result, victims often suffer and sometimes die in silence. It is important to know: what constitutes domestic violence, how you can help, and available resources.
What constitutes abuse? Domestic violence is a pattern of assaultive and coercive behaviors, including but not limited to physical, sexual, and psychological attacks, as well as economic coercion, that people use to gain power and control over their intimate partners.
Research indicates that domestic violence is common and affects people of all cultures, religions, ages, sexual orientations, educational backgrounds and income levels. Domestic violence is not a private family matter as was once thought but rather a crime against society. Abuse takes many forms.
Abuse comes in several forms and, while some define abuse as a physical attack, it can also be emotional, financial, or sexual. Physically abusive behavior can escalate quickly and have lethal consequences. Emotional abuse is considered a psychological or mental attack on another, including name-calling, destructive criticism, harassment, isolation, intimidation, or humiliation. These emotionally destructive behaviors by the abusive partner can be detrimental to the victim’s mental well-being both in the short-term as well as long-term without counseling. Emotionally abusive relationships can destroy the victim’s self-worth, lead to anxiety and depression, and make the victim feel helpless and alone. No one should have to endure this kind of pain—and the first step to breaking free is recognizing that the relationship is abusive.
Are there other forms of domestic violence? Other forms of domestic violence include but are not limited to financial and sexual abuse. Financial abuse, also known as economic abuse, results from one partner’s attempts to gain and maintain control over their partner’s finances. Taking many forms, financial abuse includes disallowing a partner from obtaining a job, purposely hurting a partner’s credit, limiting access to funds, and demanding that a partner ask for money for every expense. Sexual abuse results from one partner forcing his or her will on the other, often causing physical and psychological harm in the process. When a partner is afraid to say no, he or she suffers from abuse. Once the victim acknowledges the reality of the abusive situation, then she or he can get the much-needed help.
Is this an exhaustive list of the forms of domestic violence? Although lengthy, the aforementioned categories of domestic violence do not comprise all forms abuse. Stalking is another form of emotional abuse.
With the rise of technology, many abuse their partner by stalking them with the aid of cell phones, computers, and the Internet, or using technology to monitor a partner’s activity. Research indicates that this type of abuse is especially common among teenagers and young adults.
The immigration status of the victim can also afford the abusive partner an opportunity to control the victim. When the abusive partner, often a spouse, holds control over the victim’s immigration papers, threatens to call immigration authorities, or refuses to let his or her partner to learn English, among other things this behavior constitutes abuse. More than ever before, society must guard against domestic abuse in all forms, paying special attention to non-traditional forms of abusive behavior which all too often go overlooked.
How can you help? There are several ways that you can help a person in an abusive relationship. First, you must be a patient and non-judgmental listener. Respect your friend or family member’s decisions. There are many reasons why victims stay in abusive relationships. Secondly, you can encourage him or her to talk to people who can provide help and guidance. Assist your friend in locating a local domestic violence agency that provides counseling and/or shelter.
If your friend/colleague elects to go to the police, court or a lawyer, you can offer to accompany them for moral support. It is important to be mindful that you cannot rescue the person being abused. Although it is difficult to see someone you care about being hurt only the abused person can decide when to take the requisite steps to secure a life free from the violence and turmoil which occurs in an abusive relationship.
The pervasive problem of domestic violence takes everyone to make it stop. If you suspect that someone you know is being abused, keep in mind that expressing your concern for their health and well-being will let the person know that you care and may even save her or his life.
Sources: NCADV website and PCADV website
Photo Credit: Microsoft Clip Art
Give hope to victims of domestic violence by donating your old cell telephone to the HopeLine Camapaign operated by Verizon Wireless. Verizon collects no-longer-used cell phones, batteries, and accessories and either refurbishes or recycles the phones. The refurbished cell phones along with three thousand (3,000) minutes of wireless service are provided to victims of domestic violence free of charge.
For many women violence and danger are their constant companions. Research indicates that one in four women will experience domestic violence in her lifetime.[i] Indigent women are more vulnerable. As woman rebuild their lives, the refurbished cell phones serve as a link to supportive services in a time of crisis.
The pervasive problem of domestic violence takes everyone to make it stop. Consider donating your used cell phone— you could possibly save someone’s life. In honor of Earth Day 2016, you should consider donating your used cell telephone, battery, and/or charger.
Verizon Wireless states that “donating an old wireless phone to HopeLine® from Verizon is as easy as following these four steps:
1. Turn the phone’s power off.
2. Make sure the phone’s batteries are installed in the phone you are returning. Please do not include any loose batteries.
3. Please remove storage cards (microSD, etc.) and SIM cards from phones prior to donation. Also be sure to return any travel chargers or other accessories that came with the devices.
4. Seal the package and adhere the free postage-paid label to the box/envelope and drop it in the mail. To view and print the mailing label, you may need to download Adobe Acrobat Reader.
5.Don’t forget to include your return address on the shipping label. “
“Verizon Wireless takes the protection of customer information seriously. The company encourages everyone who plans to give a phone to HopeLine to erase any personal data on the phone before donating it. If in doubt on what to remove from your phone, leave it to the professionals. As part of the refurbishing process, HopeLine scrubs the phones prior to distributing them for re-use to ensure all customer information is removed.”
- Donated phones are not tax deductible.
- This shipping label is only intended for use by consumers who are donating their wireless phones to HopeLine. Customers who are not donating their phones but wish to return their wireless phones should contact Customer Service or visit their local Verizon Wireless Communications Store.
For information about Verizon’s cell phone donation process visit: http://aboutus.vzw.com/communityservice/hopeLine.html.
Photo Credit: Microsoft Clip Art
[i] Tjaden, Patricia & Thoennes, Nancy, National Institute of Justice and the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, 1993, “Extent, Nature and Consequences of Intimate Partner Violence: Findings from the National Violence Against Women Survey,” (2000)
October 11th is International Day of the Girl. In recognition of the importance of investing in and empowering girls during adolescence and preventing as well as eliminating the various forms of violence they experience, the theme of International Day of the Girl Child for 2016 is Measuring Progress.
In recognition of girls’ rights and the unique challenges girls face around the world, on December 19, 2011, the United Nations General Assembly declared October 11th as the International Day of the Girl Child.
To take efforts to end all forms of violence against girls and women to the next level, it is important that we focus on adolescent girls and move beyond awareness-raising to investments in and support for this critical group that will shape the present and the future.
Building on the United Nations Secretary-General’s UNiTE to End Violence against Women campaign, we must look at the opportunities initiatives such as Education for All and the global movement to end child marriage provide to empower adolescent girls and must ensure that they are protected from harm, are supported by family and friends, and are able to act in their own interest.
Photo Credit: Microsoft Clip Art
Source(s): United Nation’s website
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
Tomorrow, the Violence Against Women Act of 1994 (VAWA) turns twenty (20) years old. On September 13, 1994, President Bill Clinton signed this piece of critical legislation. Drafted by former Sen. Joe Biden’s office and approved with bipartisan support, it was designed to give better protection and recourse to women experiencing domestic violence and sexual assault.
Annually, 12.7 million men and women in the U.S. are physically abused, raped or stalked by their partners.[i] That is approximately the number of people in New York City and Los Angeles combined.[ii] That is 24 people every minute.[iii] These are people we know.
VAWA provides money to: enhance investigation and prosecution of violent crimes perpetrated against women, increase pre-trial detention of the accused, impose automatic and mandatory restitution on those convicted, and allow civil redress in cases where prosecutors elect not to prosecute. Some have described this law as “the greatest breakthrough in civil rights for women in nearly two decades.”
VAWA was reauthorized by Congress in 2000, and again in December 2005. The bill was signed into law by President George W. Bush on January 5, 2006. This year, VAWA was reauthorized. The latest version of VAWA expanded federal protections to the LGBT community, Native Americans and immigrants.
Since 1994, the annual incidence of domestic violence has dropped 64 percent, according to the White House. But there’s still plenty of work ahead to reduce violence and maintain federal and state funding for anti-violence programs. So as we celebrate another year of this important law, let’s light candles but hold the confetti.
For more information, visit the United States Department of Health and Human Services violence against women website and the Department of Justice Office on Violence Against Women.
Photo credit: Microsoft Clip Art
Sources: National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, Ms. Blog.