When Is Domestic Violence Awareness Month and How to Help the Victim of Abuse

Plus And Wow|Women's talk|When Is Domestic Violence Awareness Month and How to Help the Victim of Abuse


How to Define Domestic Violence

Domestic violence has existed for a long time, but it began to be actively talked about and fought only in the second half of the 20th century.

The abuser uses physical, emotional, psychological, sexual, and economic violence to control their partner or family member. Absolutely any person can be a victim of domestic violence, regardless of race, religion, gender, age, etc. However, why do many victims remain silent about this? Is it a matter of fear of the abuser or the censure of society? October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and when people stand up for the protection of victims.

Of course, this does not mean that the struggle does not continue in other months of the year, but October can still be called a red flag – a warning sign attracting public attention. Let’s find out more about October, warning signs of domestic violence, and how to ask for help!

What and When Is Domestic Violence Awareness Month?

Domestic Violence Awareness Month is announced in October. It emerged after Unity Day in October 1981. Its main goal is to reach out to human rights defenders across the country who are committed to ending violence against victims.

The Day quickly turned into a full week of events at the local, state, and national levels. In 1989, it was officially recognized by the U.S. Congress, and since that time, the first Monday in October is Unity Day.

To draw people’s attention to the issue of domestic violence, a campaign called “Light up Domestic Violence” was launched.

How to Define Domestic Violence?

Domestic Violence Awareness

During National Domestic Violence Awareness Month, the organizers focus on how to recognize domestic violence. The abuse is often subtle and gets worse over time. You may be exposed to domestic violence if you have a relationship with:

  • Scold, insult or belittle;
  • Interference with your usual way of life, communication with people;
  • Control of your income, clothing style;
  • Jealousy conflicts;
  • Direct and indirect threats;
  • Forcing you to enter into an intimate relationship without your desire;
  • Blame you for your violent behavior.

Even if your child is not being abused, just witnessing domestic violence can be harmful. Children who grow up in abusive families are more likely to have behavioral problems than other children. As adults, they are more likely to think that violence is normal in interpersonal relationships. If someone you know is experiencing domestic violence, and you are someone they know and trust, talk to them about what they want. You can help them develop a safety plan and help survivors prepare for emergencies. The national hotline provides free templates online.

You can’t make decisions for victims of domestic violence, but you can tell them about their options, including reporting and getting help. There are a lot of offices across the country where a victim can find help. During Domestic Abuse Awareness Month, such offices provide special training on how to define violence and make a safe plan.

Domestic Violence Awareness: Background to Statistics

The COVID-19 pandemic and its associated isolation, social distancing, and other mitigation measures exacerbated domestic violence. Domestic violence is on the rise all over the world and the usual escape methods for survivor shelters, restraining orders from police, friends and family have been linked to fear of contracting or spreading the virus, social distancing, and disability, so the service was not always available. According to statistics:

  • About 15-20 people are subjected to domestic violence in the United States every minute;
  • Both men and women are subject to violence;
  • One in three women and one in four men have been physically abused by their partner;
  • One in seven women and one in 25 men were injured by their partner, and less than half sought help.
  • Every tenth woman has been raped by her partner. The lack of statistics regarding men does not mean that they are not subjected to this type of violence.
  • Having a gun in a domestic violence situation increases the risk of murder. If the abuser threatened 10 times with a gun, then at 11 they can shoot.
  • Only 34% go to the hospital for help with injuries sustained by their partner.

Safety Plan that You Can Find Out on Violence Prevention Month

Violence Prevention Month

Victims often make excuses for their abuser and find it difficult to recognize a dangerous situation for them. Therefore, think about your relationship and if you notice some of the patterns that we describe below, then you need help:

  • Your partner periodically threatens you with the use of force, but at the same time saying that it is your fault and bringing them up.
  • They take offense at you for some trifles and pose ultimatums. For example, you were invited to your brother’s birthday, and you want to go, but your partner threatens not to talk to you or even break up if you go.
  • Your partner makes promises to change, but people rarely change and if you have been hit once, then 99.9% it will happen again.

At the start, such situations may not happen often, but over time, they might occur almost every day. Don’t be afraid to ask for help and take even small steps towards your salvation. Sometimes the victim of violence is afraid to seek help due to financial difficulties, fear of deportation, etc. Try to prepare everything you need to escape. Contact the services that can help you or your friends. However, you must be careful not to reveal your intentions (clean browsing history and phone calls). You are not alone, and you will definitely be helped. If you know that your loved one is a victim of violence, then try to help them. The victim can assure that everything is fine and really believe in it. Therefore, contact the help center, which would be able to suggest how you need to act because your careless words and actions can aggravate the situation. Mark Domestic Violence Awareness Day in October, and remember those who have lost their lives as a result of abuse, learn the stories of survivors and keep in touch with them. This burden of injustice remains in the heart of your life, and your support can help them overcome it!

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