- The inter-generational impact of domestic violence, that children raised with violence often perpetuate violence against their own partners when they grow up.
- And we know about the economical impact to us all due to the medical expenses, lost work wages, and cost of prosecuting the cases to name a few.
It’s October again! Time for National Domestic Violence Awareness Month.
Did you know that
· One in every four women will experience domestic violence in her lifetime?
· 85% of domestic violence victims are women?
· Witnessing violence between one’s parents or caretakers is the strongest risk factor of transmitting violent behavior from one generation to the next? http://www.ncadv.org/files/DomesticViolenceFactSheet(National).pdf)
Let’s test your knowledge and attitudes with the quiz below.
1) Tell her that you have never liked him, and she should leave the relationship immediately since he’ll probably strike her again.
2) Encourage her to go to couple’s counseling to help her decide their future.
3) Remind her that her spending really is a source of concern.
4) Give affirming messages like, “You deserve to be treated well,” and “I’m concerned about your safety.”
5) Refer her to the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE.
A coworker you are friendly with has finally left her violent marriage after 18 years. She told you she’s gotten an order of protection, and plans to file for divorce. You
1) Act as her cheerleader, telling her, “I knew you could do it! That’s so great! I’m really proud of you!”
2) Offer to set her up on a date with your single brother when the dust settles.
3) Make disparaging comments about her husband. “What kind of a man hits a woman anyhow?”
4) Remind her it’s a dangerous time after leaving a violent relationship. Tell her you will respect whatever decision she makes, and encourage her to get support from a domestic violence agency.
You have seen the police at your next-door neighbor’s apartment on three separate occasions, but aren’t sure why. One day, you look out your window and see your neighbor hurriedly pack her children, ages 6 months and 2 years of age, into her car and back out of her driveway. She is followed by her husband on foot, who runs after them and breaks out the front windshield with a bat. Police arrive. Later, a social worker asks you to be a collateral witness. You
1) Say nothing to the social worker. You don’t want to get involved. After all, the children are young and won’t be affected.
2) Get into a lengthy conversation as to why some women are drawn to violent men.
3) Answer the questions to the best of your ability, letting the social worker know what you’ve witnessed, and reminding the social worker that you, too, could be put at risk due to the close proximity of your home to the family in question.
If you picked the last answer to each question, you’re correct.
It’s not easy giving support to a victim of domestic violence without getting emotionally drained. But since we know violence escalates after a victim leaves their perpetrator, it’s important to connect victims with experts who can help them create an individualized safety plan. Not couples counselors (always contraindicated until both partners have received domestic violence intervention and the relationship has stabilized), and not pastors.
It’s also critical to not become emotionally invested in the victim’s choices, so she doesn’t feel pressure or disapproval should she change her mind. And it’s tempting to over-extend a helping hand, fostering dependency rather than empowerment.
Do you believe it’s impossible to impact domestic violence in your world?
The truth is, you already are. Learn as much as you can by to make sure it’s the impact that you want.
What will you do to get involved in ending the cycle of violence?
Just Google domestic violence and the name of your community to see what events are going on for Domestic Violence Awareness Month.
What does a miracle look like?
Scroll down to see reunion of Cinday Murray and her brother Robert Williamson, separated since their parents divorce in the 70’s and both actively serving in the Navy.