Thursday, October 7, 2010

Domestic Violence Awareness Month

Every 15 seconds in America a woman is beaten or injured in some way by a partner or ex-partner.  That is a staggering statistic.  In the United States there are 1,500 emergency shelters for domestic violence victims...there are 3,800 shelters for animals. 

October is "awareness month" for several important issues, as we all know.  I'm not sure many people realize that October is also Domestic Violence awareness month.  This subject is one that many are uncomfortable talking openly about (understandably) but for me it is close to my heart as I worked in  my local domestic violence shelter for 5 years as a woman's advocate and I have witnessed both professionally and personally the effects of this horrible, insidious crime.  I worked daily with women and their children who fled their homes to escape further harm and injury or the threat of it by a man who claimed he "loved" them.  Many times they would come to our emergency shelter in the middle of the night with only the clothes on their backs.  Children, babies, women (young and old) would show up on the shelter's doorstep.  I've seen women as young as 17 w/ a baby in their arms to a 75 year old woman w/ her frozen Thanksgiving turkey in tow who decided they couldn't take it not one more second.  I've known women who have been killed (some in front of their children) by their spouse, ex-spouse or intimate partner.  If you have been hurt or threatened in any way by a partner or ex-partner or by a family member then please know my sisters, there is help out there for you!  You don't have to be afraid in your own home anymore.  Here is the number for the National domestic violence hotline.  1.800.799.SAFE (7233).  There is someone there to answer your call 24/7.  They can give you the number for your local shelter who also is there for callers 24/7.  They will listen to you and believe you!  They will also support and comfort you. 
Please let's not forget or overlook the women and their children in our communities who are terribly affected by this crime.  It's real, it's valid, it's prevalent and it's devastating.
I am including a couple of links just in case anyone is interested in reading up on what constitutes abuse and for more statistics.

Purple is the designated color for Domestic Violence awareness month.
For those who have indulged me, I thank you.  
Until next time.

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