October is Domestic Abuse Awareness Month
Did you know that at least one in four women will experience domestic violence at some point in their lives, regardless of their age, race, religion, or sexual preferences? At least one woman in your circle of friends has probably experienced domestic violence, or she may be experiencing it right now. Do you know the signs and how to help?
First, remember that domestic violence isn’t just about physical abuse. It can also involve mental or emotional abuse, sexual abuse, and financial abuse. While the signs of physical abuse are often clear, other types of abuse can be harder to identify. Emotional abuse can include constant put-downs or criticisms, threatening remarks, and isolation from friends and family. And, domestic abuse isn’t always by a spouse; it can be a parent, a son or daughter, brother or sister, or even a grandparent. Men can also be victims.
If you suspect domestic violence in any form, be a good listener and a caring friend. Remind the person that no one deserves to be treated that way and that help is available. Help her/him make a plan to stay safe. If additional support is needed, consider a local domestic violence support group, the National Domestic Violence Hotline (1-800-799-SAFE), or contact the police.
For more information on domestic violence, the signs, how to help, and other resources please visit the National Network to End Domestic Violence’s website at http://nnedv.org/resources/stats/gethelp.html