Domestic Violence Awareness Month (DVAM) has been observed each October since 1981. This month serves as a time to remember each victim and unite advocates worldwide to try to end domestic violence. According to The National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN), “1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men have been physically abused by an intimate partner, and 1 in 5 women and 1 in 7 men have been severely physically abused by an intimate partner.” This equates to 10 million abuse victims per year. These are statistics we are actively trying the change.
Domestic violence is a pattern of behavior in a relationship where one tries to gain control and power over their intimate partner using physical, emotional, economic, or psychological actions or threats to form a dominance over their partner. Domestic violence can happen in any community, socio-economic status, race, age, gender, religion, etc.- it affects people of all backgrounds. Domestic violence affects the intimate partner in a relationship and every person living in the home, which means millions of children are affected by domestic violence per year. This second-hand abuse can result in long-term negative effects on the child’s emotional wellbeing.
There are many ways to get involved in helping domestic abuse victims and future victims. One way to help is by knowing typical signs of domestic abuse, emotional and physical.
Physical Signs of Domestic Abuse:
- Black eyes
- Bruises on the arms
- Busted lips
- Red or purple marks on the neck
- Sprained wrists
Emotional Signs of Domestic Abuse:
- Agitation, anxiety, or constant apprehension
- Changes in sleep habits (sleeping too much or not enough)
- Developing a drug or alcohol problem
- Extremely apologetic or meek
- Loss of interest in daily activities
- Low self-esteem
- Seeming fearful
- Symptoms of depression
- Talking about or attempting suicide
If you or a loved one are victims of domestic violence, contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 for confidential assistance from trained advocates. To learn more ways to get involved, go to https://www.thehotline.org/get-involved/. Let’s all do our part to end Domestic Violence!