October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month.
A cause that is very near and dear to our hearts and our mission. Every month of the year, we donate 1% to FreeFrom, an organization that helps survivors of intimate partner violence achieve financial security. This month, we're designating this blog post and a series of posts on our Instagram to further the narrative on domestic violence by providing research and resources in order to raise awareness and assure survivors that they are not alone.
- For anonymous, confidential help, 24/7, please call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 (SAFE) or 1-800-787-3224 (TTY).
- On average, nearly 20 people per minute are physically abused by an intimate partner in the United States. During one year, this equates to more than 10 million women and men.
- 1 in 4 women and 1 in 9 men experience severe intimate partner physical violence, intimate partner contact sexual violence, and/or intimate partner stalking with impacts such as injury, fearfulness, post-traumatic stress disorder, use of victim services, contraction of sexually transmitted diseases, etc.
- On a typical day, there are more than 20,000 phone calls placed to domestic violence hotlines nationwide.
- 19.3 million women and 5.1 million men in the United States have been stalked in their lifetime.
- Intimate partner violence accounts for 15% of all violent crime.
- Women between the ages of 18-24 are most commonly abused by an intimate partner.
Debunking the Myths about Domestic Violence
- It is easy for a victim to leave their abuser, so if he/she doesn’t leave, it means he/she likes the abuse or is exaggerating how bad it is.
- Fear, lack of safe options, and the inability to survive economically prevent many victims from leaving abusive relationships. Threats of harm, including death to the victim and/or children, keep many battered women/men trapped in abusive situations. The most dangerous time for a victim is when he/she attempts to leave the relationship, or when the abuser discovers that he/she has made plans to leave.
- Domestic violence is an anger control issue.
Domestic violence has nothing to do with anger. Anger is a tool abusers use to get what they want. We know abusers are actually very much in control because they can stop when someone knocks on the door or the phone rings; they often direct punches and kicks to parts of the body where the bruises are less likely to show; and they are not abusing everyone who makes them “angry”, but waits until there are no witnesses and abuses the one they say they love.
Abusers and/or victims have low self-esteem.
Abusers do not have low self-esteem. They believe they are entitled to have power and control over their partner. Survivors of abuse may have had great self-esteem at the beginning of the relationship, but the abuser uses emotional abuse: calling the victim names, putting them down, telling a victim it is all their fault, in order to destroy their self-esteem.
Warning Signs of Abuse
- Telling you that you never do anything right.
- Showing extreme jealousy of your friends or time spent away from them.
- Preventing or discouraging you from spending time with others, particularly friends, family members, or peers. Insulting, demeaning, or shaming you, especially in front of other people.
- Controlling finances in the household without discussion.
- You deserve a healthy, respectful, loving relationship.
- You are stronger than you think.
- I believe you.
- None of this is your fault.
- Nothing you did or can do makes you deserve this.
- You’re not alone.