Saturday, October 9, 2010

Every fifteen seconds...

Did you know that October is Domestic Violence awareness month? Well, now you do.

Domestic violence is a huge problem around the world and in the past 20 years in America, it has been growing at a rapid pace. It can have devastating physical and emotional effects on women, children and families. (And yes, man can be domestically abused as well, it's just less common and less focused on. Sad, but true. It is the same sad way for rapes. Men just don't get acknowledged for these hateful crimes, but they experience them as well.)It has been reported that 2 out of 3 women in America have been attacked by a family member or some other acquaintance.

What exactly is domestic violence? Well, it's an abuse committed by a close family relation (i.e.- husband/wife, fiancee, boy/girlfriend, etc.) It is estimated that an act of domestic violence occurs every fifteen seconds in the U.S., which means about 2.5 million people a year on average.

In 1994 the U.S. Congress enacted the Violence Against Women Act (WAVA). This directed jurisdiction to five full faith and credit to valid orders of protection issued by other jurisdictions. Simply, valid orders of protection must be enforced to protect domestic violence victims regardless of where the original irder was issued. This means that the victim is able to call upon law enforcement for protection from their abusers and the abuser will be prosecuted for their violations.

Domestic violence isn't just physical. It's emotional and can take many different varieties in this form.

Signs of a domestically abused person:

-fear of your partner
-does your partner humiliate, criticize, or yell at you?
-blame you for their behavior?
-hurt or threaten you?
-force you to have sex?
-threaten suicide if you leave?
-destroy your belongings?
-do they act controlling and possessive?
-constantly check up on you?

There are more warning signs here. Don't be afriad to stick up for yourself or for someone you love.

Do you or anyone you know suffer from domestic violence?? Know that you aren't alone and that there IS help out there for you and your loved ones. The National Hotline can be found here. There are also other ways that you can help and those resources can be found here.

Also, there are many shelters available for abused people and their families. You are not alone.

Stop the Violence.

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