Tuesday, October 2, 2012

B.A.F.F.L.E.D. Tops

Top 6 Things to Know About Domestic Violence Awareness--

October is Domestic Violence Awareness month.  

Domestic Violence Awareness Month (DVAM) grew out of the "Day of Unity" in October 1981, by the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence. The idea was to connect advocates across the nation, working to end violence against women and their children. Like many other causes, such a short time to promote awareness was not long enough; all of October is now dedicated to this cause.

Domestic violence is an unfortunate circumstance in far too many homes across America.  In order to fight this epidemic we must educate and spread the word.

Here's what you should know:

1. Domestic violence sees no race, color, ethnic background, or economic status.  It affects people in all walks of life.  Men are also impacted, not just women and children.

2. Domestic violence is cyclical.  Although many who are abused feel pain and resent their abusers, they often go on to repeat the behavior.  For children, it is often the only way they know.  Without education and therapy to deal with the circumstance, the problem can perpetuate.

3. Due to lack of resources, the number of survivors to whom local Coalitions Against Domestic Violence (CADV) have provided shelter has decreased by 20%, while the number of victims turned away has increased by 16% over the last four years.  In the last year alone CADVs saw a drastic 12% drop in the number survivors who obtained safe, emergency shelter. Despite this fact, survivors and their children received over 522,000 hours of service last year alone. 

4. Help is available at all times.  Victims, and even offenders who know they need help, may not know where to turn.  To get things rolling, anyone can call the National Domestic Violence Helpline at 1-800-799-SAFE.  

5.  Safety Plans help.  The hotline is an amazing tool, but creating safety plans takes things a step further.  The plan will help victims route their escape from pain and chart their journey to a better life.  Plans can include starting a separate savings account, thinking of exit routes from the home, avoiding arguments where weapons are readily accessible, i.e. the kitchen, and having someone available at all times to pick you up or be home when you need them.  For more ideas, click here.

6. There's always a hope for change.  No matter how tough the situation appears; for you or someone you're witnessing, various outlets are available to stop the cycle and give families strength. 

We all should become as educated as possible on the signs and resolutions for domestic violence.  If you are experiencing or sensing signs---say or do something.  Don't wait. With so many tough circumstances to face these days, violence among loved ones is never one we need.

Help today.

Thanks to Brandon S. Jones of the Illinois Coalition Against Domestic Violence for stats and insights.

For background on domestic violence, click here and for even more, check out the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence


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