October 2012 marks the 25th anniversary of the observance of National Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Every nine seconds a woman in the United States is beaten. Three women a day in the USA lose their lives. But victims are not limited to women. Victims can be men, children, brothers, sisters, grandparents, or other familial relationship.
The observance was founded by the National Coalition against Domestic Violence. Its goal is to reach out to victims throughout the nation to protect victims, raise awareness, and help end domestic violence.
A wide range of services and activities focused on education, support, and prevention at local, state and national levels. It includes the mourning of those who died as a result of domestic violence, and provides services and support efforts to their surviving children
Identifying Abusive Behaviors
• Controlling behavior;
• Physical abuse;
• Threat or intimidation;
• Mental or physical neglect;
• Economic abuse or neglect;
• Sexual abuse
Planning for Safety
• Don’t allow yourself to be cornered in a room especially a small enclosed area;
• Educate yourself and your children to identify signs and indicators from your abuser that abuse is imminent;
• Discuss safety with your children before any incidents occur including safe places to go, what numbers to call, and safety signals to alert them to act if anything happens;
• Set up emergency signals with a trusted family member or neighbor who lives outside your home;
• Collect important documents, and records that you can access immediately from a safe location on short notice;
• Pack and keep a bag in a safe place that includes clothing, nonperishables, medicines, water, and any needed supplies for you and your children for at least 24 hours;
• Be familiar with local domestic violence shelters in your area, and keep their contact information readily available in the event of emergency.
Local and national supporters are wearing purple ribbons, and conducing “going purple activities”. For activities in your area, you can visit your state’s Domestic Violence Coalition, official city police website or other national resources.
Domestic Violence Charges
Domestic abuse or violence is a criminal offense, punishable by jail, fines, and counseling. You should know that even victims sometimes are charged or arrested for domestic violence. There are a numerous reasons for this. It can occur if a parent is a witness to domestic abuse or neglect to a child, but does not take any action to report it to authorities or respond appropriately to keep the child safe. It can also occur, if the police arrive, and are uncertain of which person is the aggressor and which is the victim; or if both persons contributed to the incident of aggression, violence, abuse, or neglect.
If you received charges or were arrested, you always consult a criminal defense attorney regarding your matter, before pleading guilty to charges, or appearing in court.
Additional Domestic Violence Support Resources:
• National Coalition Against Domestic Violence
• Other US Organizations for Domestic Violence Support
• State Coalition Contact List