Defense Against Crime

03/10/2013

The Silence about Domestic Violence

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. You may catch a blurb here and there, and then all the attention goes to Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Don’t believe me, count how many pink ribbons do you see this month, and how many announcements you hears about breast cancer? Now Count the purple ribbons you see for the stand against domestic violence. I’m not underscoring the importance of breast cancer awareness. I have lost relatives and friends to this disease. However, I’ve lost more to diseases like diabetes. However, there will be all kinds of sales, and special, and lectures and fund-raising for Breast Cancer. Churches, which normally have a high percentage of will probably have lots of info for breast cancer, and very little if anything for domestic violence. Statistically 1 in 8 U.S. women (just under 12%) will develop invasive breast cancer over the course of her lifetime. The statistics for domestic violence are MUCH HIGHER. Do you have pondered why? Is the Pastor abusing their wives? Are the Deacons? Perhaps it is the Sunday school teacher? Perhaps it’s the guy on the third pew who is so involved in the church. Here are some facts about Domestic Violence. Like the Church, many communities are very silent about domestic violence.

  • Every 9 seconds in the US a woman is assaulted or beaten
  • 1 in 4 women & 1 in 9 men in the U.S. are victims of domestic violence at some point in their lives. (CDC)
  • Each year, intimate partner violence (IPV) results in an estimated 1,200 deaths and 2 million injuries among women and nearly 600,000 injuries among men (CDC)
  • Almost one-third of female homicide victims that are reported in police records are killed by an intimate partner.

Many people think that domestic violence is only physical assaults, like punching or slapping, or any form of hitting. However, the better definition of domestic violence is the willful intimidation, physical assault, battery, sexual assault, and/or other abusive behavior perpetrated by an intimate partner against another. It is an epidemic affecting individuals in every community, regardless of age, economic status, race, religion, nationality or educational background.

The pattern of violence against women is often accompanied by emotionally abusive and controlling behavior, and thus is part of a systematic pattern of dominance and control. Domestic violence results in physical injury, psychological trauma, and sometimes death. The consequences of domestic violence can cross generations and truly last a lifetime.

I was listening to the Steve Harvey Morning Show, and they have a segment called the Strawberry letter, where listeners write in for advice. Here was a recent letter

Hello Morning show, I am 25 my boyfriend is 24 I have never dated anyone younger than me before, and now I see why! When I first met this boy he was perfect, He didn’t act his age at all. He was so respectful, He was close to his family, he took me anywhere I wanted to go, gave me anything I wanted. Now this was a big change from my last relationship (i was in a physically abusive relationship for 3 years) My new man never raised his hand to me, never even raised his voice until one day, We had been talking for about 6 months he got mad at me for something and called me a B-word! All i could do was say ‘excuse me’? He said B-word u herd me! but since then it has gotten Worst! Now he calls me all kinda names, B-words, H-words, P-words, any negative derogatory word u can think of! and on top of that when he gets mad he breaks my things! t.v.’s radios, tables, puts holes in the walls etc..! I don’t know what to do. I love this man, & know he loves me too, but am I supposed to keep putting up with this? I don’t want to break up with him just because of some words, and the things he breaks he replaces but I keep telling him that’s not the point. Then when he gets mad he also calls me stupid for putting up with his mouth. He says if I was a real woman I wouldn’t allow him to talk to me like that. but then he says he doesn’t mean any of it, he breaks my things, & uses his words to hurt me, because he can’t use his hands to hurt me. What do you think i should do?? oh yea even the abusive man I was with for 3 years never called me out my name…he would knock me upside my head from time to time, but he never cussed at me!

This letter also underscores a two big problem with domestic abuse; the people in the relationship often make excuses and stay rather than leave the situation. Others feel that they are unable to leave. The other issue is that some people have no concept of what love is?   To use that line from Love Story..”Love means never having to say you’re sorry” The Bible has better attributes for love which is often quoted at Christian wedding. They can be found in 1 Corinthians 13:4-7.  As I said above when it comes to domestic violence, the church, life society is largely quiet. No man who loves a women will do anything to hurt her. No woman who loves her self, is not going to allow herself to be hurt in any manner.

Here are some other facts about Domestic Violence

  • Domestic violence is the leading cause of injury to women-more than car accidents, muggings, and rapes combined.
  • Nearly 1 in 5 teenage girls who have been in a relationship said a boyfriend threatened violence or self-harm if presented with a breakup.
  • Every day in the US, more than three women are murdered by their husbands or boyfriends.
  • Men who as children witnessed their parents’ domestic violence were twice as likely to abuse their own wives than sons of nonviolent parents.
  • Women ages 20 to 24 are at greatest risk of becoming victims of domestic violence.
  • More than 60% of domestic violence incidents happen at home.
  • According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, domestic violence is the third leading cause of homelessness among families.
  • Without help, girls who witness domestic violence are more vulnerable to abuse as teens and adults.
  • Without help, boys who witness domestic violence are far more likely to become abusers of their partners and/or children as adults, thus continuing the cycle of violence in the next generation.
  • Most domestic violence incidents are never reported.

Help change the facts. Speak up, speak out, and make a difference for victims of domestic violence.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

Organizations that Offer Help

  • RAINN.ORG – 800-656-4673
  • National Domestic Violence Hotline -1800-799-7233

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