October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month.
According to the Huffington Post, by the end of October another 50 women “will be murdered with a gun by an intimate partner.” The statistic is staggering.Yet, the tragedy of it all is that these victims could have been saved. Yes, it can include physical violence, which seems to be what is most often understood as abuse, but it also includes sexual, emotional , financial and elder abuse.
Recently, during the Henrico County Citizens’ Police Academy, I learned about domestics. My hand steadily wrote down everything in order to not only share this important information, but to also increase own knowledge about this topic.
Domestic violence is a pattern of behaviors over one person or another to assert power or maintain control. According to the officer, domestic violence includes a variety of acts, including sexual violence, stalking, strangulation, etc.
Fact: 89% of domestic homicide victims were stalked by their killer.
When it comes to physical abuse, it is easy to imagine someone appearing black and blue after the fact, but not all forms of abuse leave black and blue bruises, lacerations or broken bones. I never considered that someone might be waterboarded in their home, but that is only one from the long list of physical abuses, which also include pinching, squeezing, pushing, shoving, slapping, biting, punching, kicking, strangulation, throwing objects, suffocation, throwing of the person, restraining a person.
Courtesy of YOUTUBE
The cycle of abuse continues because “it works. The violence and the threat of violence are effective means of control;” and that combined with the belief that they have such an innate right, be it based on their religion, gender, financial standing, status in the community, etc, continues to perpetuate violence. This combined with society’s complete lack of clarity regarding the sending of effective messages regarding such, only continues to convoluted the issues, and make it that “abusers are not held accountable” for their actions.
Of course, the cycle continues when one is abused and children are able to “soak” up and believe that this abuse is normal. What they see happen in the world around them, they are more likely to reproduce. As such, “the most insistent predictor of abusive behavior is prior violent or abusive behavior. Battery is a choice.”
According to “Love Shouldn’t Hurt,” an insert provided by the Henrico County Police Department, “Up to ten million children witness domestic violence in their homes each year, leaving a strong negative impact on their emotion well-being whether or not they are physically abused.”
There is help for victims of domestic violence.
· No one deserves to be abused in any way. Virginia offers statewide resources to help the abused. In the case of emergency, call 911. If you believe that you are a victim of domestic violence, please seek help, and contact your local domestic violence programs or call Hotline: 1-800-838-8238 (available 24/7)
Please visit the Virginia Department of Social Services website for more information: http://www.dss.virginia.gov/community/dv/
TINA GLASNECK is an author with moxie and world experience. To learn more about Tina, please visit her website: TinaGlasneck.com and connect with her on facebook!