Domestic Awareness Month
October is designated as Domestic Violence Awareness Month to bring attention to the different forms of abuse in relationships. Domestic violence is generally defined as behavior in a relationship that is used to gain or maintain power over an intimate partner. Forms of domestic abuse include emotional, physical, sexual and verbal attacks. Every nine seconds in the United States a woman is assaulted or beaten, and up to 10 million children witness some form of domestic violence each year. Women are not the only victims of domestic violence- men account for 15% of reported cases.
There is a myriad of reasons why women and men do not immediately leave their abusive partners. Many victims feel that if they can just stick it out, the situation with their abuser will improve. Others feel that they are personally responsible for the abuser’s behavior, or have such diminished self-esteem that they do not feel they are worthy of anyone else. Often times, abusers have complete control over the couple’s finances, and victims feel that they cannot survive financially or provide for their children if they leave.
The important thing to remember is that there IS help available and resources designed to help victims escape abusive situations. The National Domestic Violence Hotline is available for victims across the country, and many states have their own resources as well. The Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence provides crisis intervention, counseling, temporary emergency shelters, and medical and court facilities. Other local programs are also available, such as YWCA Safe Home, and local churches and shelters.
National Domestic Violence Hotline 1-800-799-7233
YWCA Safe Home York & Adams County 717-632-0007