Domestic Violence Awareness Month

dv101-helpIn addition to be Breast Cancer Awareness Month, October is also Domestic Violence Awareness Month! The following information is from the National Domestic Violence Awareness Center.

About Domestic Violence

Domestic violence is best understood as a pattern of abusive behaviors–including physical, sexual, and psychological attacks as well as economic coercion–used by one intimate partner against another (adult or adolescent) to gain, maintain, or regain power and control in the relationship. Batterers use of a range of tactics to frighten, terrorize, manipulate, hurt, humiliate, blame, often injure, and sometimes kill a current or former intimate partner.

For more general information about domestic violence, including potential warning signs for emotional, physical, or sexual abuse, visit the National Domestic Violence Hotline’s information page: Is This Abuse? Get the Facts.

Break the Cycle also provides more information about patterns of abuse and behaviors commonly experienced by youth in dating relationships.

Domestic Violence: Understanding the Basics by the National Resource Center on Domestic Violence and VAWnet, the National Online Resource Center on Violence Against Women (November 2012)

This 1-hour eLearning module describes the dynamics and common tactics that characterize domestic violence, provides an overview of the scope and impact on individuals and society, explores the underlying factors that allow domestic violence to exist, offers insight into the various risks and choices that survivors face, and shares how to be part of the solution. Divided into 10 sections addressing common questions related to domestic violence, this course will help new advocates, allied professionals, students, and the general public achieve a basic understanding of this complex issue.

Thirteen Ways Any ADULT Can Make Ending Domestic Violence

 His or Her Business.

1 Cultivate a respectful attitude toward women in your family and at your workplace. Avoid behaviors that demean or control women.

2 When you are angry with your partner or children, respond without hurting or humiliating them. Model a nonviolent, respectful response to resolving conflicts in your family. Call a domestic violence or child abuse prevention program for their help if you continue to hurt members of your family.

3 If you have a friend or co-worker who is afraid of their partner or who is being hurt, offer your support and refer them to the 24-hour toll-free National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799- SAFE (7233). Or to the National Dating Abuse Helpline at 1-866-331-9474 if more appropriate. More information about how to get help may be accessed online at http://www.thehotline.org/get-help/.

4 Learn about domestic violence services in your community. Contribute your time (volunteer!), resources or money. Find a program (http://vawnet.org/links/) in your area and make contact to find out how you can help.

5 Call the police if you see or hear violence in progress. Abuse and domestic violence is a crime, even when it occurs between people in a relationship or in the same family.

6 Talk to your friends and neighbors when they belittle women, make jokes about violence, or ignore an abuse victim.

7 Ask you local government to collaborate with domestic violence programs to conduct a safety audit of your community. Be a part of the solution; help promote the right to exist in your community without being objectified. Follow the lead of Hollaback! (http://www.ihollaback.org/), a movement to end street harassment using mobile technology. These efforts are powered by local activists in 50 cities, 17 countries, and in 9 different languages around the world.

8 Write to music producers, movie companies, Internet businesses, video game producers, and TV stations to speak out about violence against women. Miss Representation (http://www.missrepresentation.org/) is a call-to-action campaign that seeks to empower women and girls to challenge limiting media labels in order to realize their potential. Take the pledge and join their efforts to make a difference together.

9 Develop a women’s safety campaign in your workplace, neighborhood, school or house of worship. Build a consensus among your colleagues and neighbors that abusive behavior and language is unacceptable.

10 Bring together your local domestic violence program staff, parents, teachers, students, and school administrators to start a discussion about developing a school-based curriculum on dating and family violence.

11 Ask that physicians and other health care professionals receive training about domestic violence and other forms of abuse. Become an advocate for safe, private, routine screening for domestic violence, child abuse, and elder abuse. Educate yourself about these initiatives. Futures Without Violence has made significant strides in this area. Guidelines and educational tools to improve health care’s response to domestic violence are available here: http://www.futureswithoutviolence.org/section/our_work/health.

12 Co-sponsor a citizens’ monitoring group with your local domestic violence program to insure that law enforcement officers, judges, and probation & parole personnel receive training about domestic violence and enforce the law.

13 EXAMINE YOUR OWN LIFE for violence and oppressive behaviors. Try to live a VIOLENCE-FREE life.

As part of the NRCDV’s “Domestic Violence…Putting the Pieces Together” series, the two brochures above were written with gender-neutral language and may be distributed to anyone in the community. Both Finding Safety and Support and Helping End Domestic Violence brochures include the National Domestic Violence Hotline and National Dating Abuse Helpline contact information, as well as a blank information box for service providers to place their contact details. NRCDV encourages local programs, state DV/SA coalitions, educators, allied professionals, and the general public to use or adapt these brochures to help raise awareness of resources for victims experiencing domestic violence and to help others learn how to end domestic violence. A limited number of hard copies of each brochure, in English and Spanish, are available upon request by sending an email to nrcdvta@nrcdv.org

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