October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. This has been observed since 1989, and is a time to raise awareness for victims that are suffering from Domestic Violence.
For victims of domestic violence, it can have a huge negative influence on their lives, causing them to live in fear all the time. This can lead to problems in the future, such as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). These scars can last a lifetime, and take years of therapy to overcome.
Between 30-40% of people suffer from domestic violence in relationships, which makes domestic violence a huge issue in our society that needs to be faced.
According to the National Childhood Traumatic Stress Network,
Although there has been substantial progress in reducing domestic violence, an average of 20 people are physically abused by intimate partners every minute. This equates to more than 10 million abuse victims annually. 1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men have been physically abused by an intimate partner, and 1 in 5 women and 1 in 7 men have been severely physically abused by an intimate partner. Millions of Americans live in daily, silent fear within their own homes. In addition, every year millions of children are exposed to domestic violence. Domestic violence incidents affect every person within a home and can have long-lasting negative effects on children's emotional well-being, and social and academic functioning.
Breaking the Stigma and Silence
When there is domestic violence in families, a sacred trust has been broken. When a relationship partner or parent abuses those closest to them, then they have broken the bonds of trust within the closest of family relationships.
It can often be difficult for victims to speak up about domestic violence because of fear of the abuser, as well as the social stigma against domestic violence victims. This is why it is so important to raise awareness for domestic violence victims and their families, so they will feel safer coming forward.
During the month of October, you can contribute to causes that support domestic violence prevention, and spread information with friends and on social media about domestic violence.
According to The Hotline,
This year, we’re participating in the #1Thing campaign aimed at meeting people where they’re at. We know that change can start with just one thing. By doing #1Thing to raise awareness about domestic violence, we can all work together to create real social change.
If someone you know comes to you for help with domestic violence, it is important to believe them, and to help them find assistance and community resources.
For help with making a safety plan, you can call The Hotline at 1.800.799.SAFE (7233). The Hotline can help with providing additional resources to those in need as well.
You Are Not Alone
And, you don't have to suffer in silence. There is help out there in the community if you are suffering from Domestic Violence.
As a victim myself, I believe in the importance of advocating for anyone who is suffering in an abusive relationship. Victims suffer so much shame, and are constantly asked why they didn't leave sooner.
There is so much fear when you are in an abusive relationship. It can be hard to know who to trust, or who to turn to. Sometimes, you might be afraid to speak up for yourself, if the abuser has convinced you that the abuse is your fault.
It is important to remember that NO ONE DESERVES TO BE ABUSED.
The abuse is the abuser's fault only, not your fault. Normal people don't go around hurting and destroying other people the way that abusers do. They may be mentally ill or a narcissist.
You can learn more about coping with narcissistic abuse, and about how to get out of a violent relationship and rebuild yourself afterwards.
Remember, you aren't alone. Other people have been where you are. Other people have gotten free from abuse and been able to heal, and you can too.
Once you are able to get out of an abusive relationship, you may be suffering from PTSD. It is important to go to therapy, and get help for the emotional pain and suffering that lingers even after you have left an abusive relationship.