October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Domestic Violence Awareness Month has been observed nationally since 1987. The purpose of Domestic Violence Awareness Month is to celebrate survivors, mourn those who lost their lives to domestic violence, and raise awareness and work together to end domestic violence in our community.
Domestic violence can happen to anyone, regardless of race, gender identity, income, religion or place of residence. Domestic violence affects people we know — family members, coworkers, neighbors and friends. Domestic violence is, at its core, about power and control. Survivors may experience physical, emotional or psychological abuse that creates lifelong effects.
How prevalent is domestic violence? By conservative estimates, we know that 1 in 4 women and 1 in 7 men will be victims of domestic violence in their lifetimes.
Domestic violence is a public health emergency. Post-traumatic stress disorder, brain injury, physical injuries and sexual assault are extremely prevalent among survivors. On average, 55 percent of homicides of women in this country are attributed to domestic violence.
Annually, 1 in 15 children witness domestic violence in their home. In an estimated 30 to 60 percent of cases, the children are also subject to abuse from the perpetrator. This exposes children to an increased risk of abuse later in life and leads to a lifetime of toxic stress, which negatively affects physical and mental health, learning, and emotional development.
Here are some things you can do:
- Start By Believing: When someone tells you they have experienced domestic violence, believe them.
- Be An Ally: Support survivors and organizations that help survivors. Speak out against domestic violence.
- Participate in a community event for Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Most communities have events planned – show your support.
- Support a domestic violence organization with time or money. To find an organization in your area check out NNEDV.
- Learn more about domestic violence: National or state organizations can help you better understand domestic violence and its impact.
- Engage in safety planning: the MyPlan app helps friends, family members and those experiencing domestic violence to explore safety options and plan for ways to be safe. Access it at MyPlan.
- Call for help: You are not alone. If you feel unsafe and need help, contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233
Take a stand against domestic violence today. For more information on how to help, check out this page: DVAM.
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