Each month of the year has multiple awareness campaigns attached to it, and October is no different. Taking a moment to learn more about each of these awareness topics is important. It gives us the opportunity to learn more about the world, and how we can more effectively support people who have been affected by these concerns.
October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Domestic violence is a pattern of abusive behavior in any relationship that is used by one partner to gain or maintain power and control over another intimate partner. (usdoj.gov, 2013)
Oftentimes we hear about how domestic violence affects women. One in every four women experiences domestic violence in her lifetime. This number is startling and definitely deserves attention. Women are in need of support and understanding when searching for help to break free from violence. Many people are willing to help women when they reach out, but what if a man was to ask for the same help? How willing would we be to put ourselves out there? Letís not forget that domestic violence can affect anyone.
We often skim over male victims because men rarely report violence that may be going on in their homes. This could be because of fear that no one will believe them or concern that they may be accused of starting the violence. If you know a male that you believe is experiencing domestic violence, speak up and let him know that you noticed and that he can get help. For more information on domestic violence please visit www.safeharborsfl.org or call our 24-hour hotline at (800) 247-7273.
Rachel Gregory is prevention education coordinator for Safe Harbors of the Finger Lakes, Inc.