NATIONAL DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AWARENESS MONTH
National Domestic Violence Awareness Month is an annual designation observed in October. For many, home is a place of love, warmth, and comfort. It’s somewhere that you know you will be surrounded by care and support, and a nice little break from the busyness of the real world. But for millions of others, home is anything but a sanctuary. The U.S. Department of Justice estimates that 1.3 million women and 835,000 men are victims of physical violence by a partner every year.
Every 9 seconds, a woman in the U.S. is beaten or assaulted by a current or ex-significant other.
Here’s another shocking statistic: the number of U.S. troops killed in Afghanistan and Iraq between 2001 and 2012 is 6,488. The number of women that were murdered by current or ex-male partners during that same time frame is 11,766, according to the Huffington Post. That’s almost double the number of people that were killed fighting in war. People who are in an abusive relationship will stay with their partner for a number of reasons:
-Their self-esteem is totally destroyed, and they are made to feel they will never be able to find another person to be with.
-The cycle of abuse, meaning the ‘honeymoon phase’ that follows physical and mental abuse, makes them believe their partner really is sorry, and does love them.
-It’s dangerous to leave. Women are 70 times more likely to be killed in the weeks after leaving their abusive partner than at any other time in the relationship, according to the Domestic Violence Intervention program.
-They feel personally responsible for their partner, or their own behavior. They are made to feel like everything that goes wrong is their fault.
–They share a life. Marriages, children, homes, pets, and finances are a big reason victims of abuse feel they can’t leave.
HOW TO OBSERVE
Use #DomesticViolenceAwareness to post on social media. Sometimes, people don’t know if they are really in an abusive relationship because they’re used to their partner calling them crazy or making them feel like all the problems are their own fault. Here are a few ways to know if you’re in an abusive relationship that you need to get out of.
- Your partner has hit you, beat you, or strangled you in the past.
- Your partner is possessive. They check up on you constantly wondering where you are; they get mad at you for hanging out with certain people if you don’t do what they say.
- Your partner is jealous. (A small amount of jealousy is normal and healthy) however, if they accuse you of being unfaithful or isolate you from family or friends, that means the jealousy has gone too far.
- Your partner puts you down. They attack your intelligence, looks, mental health, or capabilities. They blame you for all of their violent outbursts and tell you nobody else will want you if you leave.
- Your partner threatens you or your family.
- Your partner physically and sexually abuses you. If they EVER push, shove, or hit you, or make you have sex with them when you don’t want to, they are abusing you (even if it doesn’t happen all the time.)
Domestic Violence Awareness Month evolved from the “Day of Unity” held in October 1981 and conceived by the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence. The “Day of Unity” soon evolved into a week, and in October of 1987, the first National Domestic Violence Awareness Month was observed. In 1989 Congress passed Public Law 101-112, officially designating October of that year as National Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Such legislation has been passed each year since.
As this month comes to an end, the important discussion it brings to the forefront about domestic violence’s horrific repercussions should not.
If you are experiencing domestic abuse, please click here for help. If you are in danger, call 911.
October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Domestic violence (dating/partner violence) is a pattern of behaviors between individuals who are or have been involved in an intimate relationship in which an individual inflicts emotional, financial, psychological, sexual and/or physical harm to his/her partner to assert power and control. To find resources or get more information on domestic violence (dating/ partner violence), visit http://www.nvcc.edu/novacares/sas/dating.html. To contact a 24 hour NOVA Sexual Assault Services coordinator for free confidential support, please call 703.338.0834 or email NOVA.SAS@nvcc.edu.
October 2, 2015: Professional Sports Leagues Respond to Domestic Violence
Did You Know?
Did you know that each of the major professional sports leagues in our country have policies and services to respond to domestic violence, whether their players are victimized or perpetrate violence?
MLB (Major League Baseball): The most recent league to implement a policy, MLB’s is a comprehensive response that includes investigation and discipline for current offenses, treatment and intervention for both the victim and the offender, and regular prevention education.
NBA (National Basketball Association): Domestic violence convictions are handled under the league’s rules about “Unlawful Violence” – players are immediately suspended for a minimum of 10 games, must get a clinical evaluation and attend counseling sessions. Additionally, NBA union officials said players already receive [prevention] training at least one year before they join the basketball league.
NFL (National Football League): The NFL’s policy, announced in December 2014, includes developing critical response teams for each team as well as prevention education programming for youth in football programs.
NHL (National Hockey League): Officials said they meet with players annually to discuss conduct and conduct and determine responses to domestic violence on a case-by-case basis.
Sources: Click on the hyperlinks above for more information.
What can we do?
o Watch the NFL’s Call to Coaches video
o Read this research overview on engaging men and boys and this research on how to mobilize men and boys as allies
Promote implementation of primary prevention programs such as:
o Coaching Boys into Men
o Teach Early
Attend George Mason University’s Healthy Masculinity workshop on 10/28.
Use social media to spread the word!
o DVAM: Did you know that all major professional sports leagues have policies in place to respond to #DomesticViolence? Let’s take their lead and promote prevention efforts, such as Teach Early, in youth sports leagues here in #FairfaxCounty. #DVAM2015 #LookAgain
o DYK we can help stop #domesticviolence through youth prevention efforts, such as #TeachEarly. #DVAM2015 #FairfaxCounty #LookAgain
[Go to: http://teachearly.org/, when you scroll down the page, social media links will pop up on the left.]
October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month (DVAM)! Each business day in October, we send out a “DVAM: Did You Know?” highlighting interesting research findings and statistics or best practices in preventing and responding to domestic violence. Please share with your friends, family members, community groups, and colleagues.
October 1, 2015: Look Again at Domestic Violence in Fairfax County
Did You Know?
Did you know that every day in Fairfax County we respond to two people who are at high risk for homicide or serious physical injury at the hands of the person they love?
The Fairfax County Police Department has teamed up with the Fairfax County Office for Women & Domestic and Sexual Violence Services, Artemis House (Shelter House, Inc.), Bethany House of Northern Virginia, the Office of the Commonwealth’s Attorney, and the Victim Services Section of the FCPD to better predict and, ultimately, prevent serious injury and homicide from happening.
On July 1, 2015, those agencies started the Lethality Assessment Program. In the first two months of the program, over half (54%) of all domestic violence cases screened by FCPD were high-danger.
Of those cases, victims reported serious lethality risks, such as:
1. 33% reported the presence of a firearm in the home (or easy access to one)
The presence of a firearm makes it 5 times more like domestic violence will turn into murder.*
2. 55% reported stalking victimization (the offender following or spying on them or leaving threatening messages)
Nationally, 76% of femicide victims were stalked prior to their murder.
3. 64% reported a history of strangulation (often referred to as ‘choking’)
Strangulation is a serious crime that often leaves no visible injuries, even though it can create temporary or permanent brain damage in as little as 30 seconds.
A victim of domestic violence with a history of strangulation has a 800% increased risk of homicide.
*J. C. Campbell, D; Webster, J; Koziol-McLain, C. R; et al. 2003. Risk Factors For Femicide in Abusive Relationships: Results From A Multi-Site Case Control Study. American Journal of Public Health. 93(7). Accessed from: http://www.futureswithoutviolence.org/userfiles/file/Children_and_Families/Guns.pdf
** Judith McFarlane et al., “Stalking and Intimate Partner Femicide,” Homicide Studies 3, no. 4 (1999).] More at: http://www.victimsofcrime.org/docs/src/stalking-fact-sheet_english.pdf
*** Jacquelyn C. Campbell, Daniel Webster, Jane Koziol-McLain, et al. “Risk Factors for Femicide in Abusive Relationships: Results from a Multisite Case Control Study.” American Journal of Public Health, Volume 93, No. 7 (July 2003) 1089-1097. A study of 300 cases of strangulation survivors conducted by the San Diego City Attorney’s Office revealed that in 50% of the cases there were no visible markings to the neck and 35 % had only minor injuries (Strack, McClane & Hawley, 2001).
What can we do?
Let’s change those statistics! Educating ourselves and our community members is a good first start:
o Join us for a media event today at 1:30pm at the Historic Courthouse: https://fcpdnews.wordpress.com/2015/09/28/preventing-domestic-violence-homicide/!
o Use social media to spread the word! Post or tweet responsible media articles (like any on the LAP press release above) on the subject or simple facts about the issue. Find sample posts and tweets like these each day in the DVAM Did you Know? this month:
o DVAM: Did you know that #domesticviolence is a leading cause of homicide in Fairfax County? DV-related homicides are predictable and preventable. Please help spread the word that services and support are available. For help, call Fairfax County’s 24-hour Hotline: 703-360-7273.
o DYK #DomesticViolence is a leading cause of homicide in #FairfaxCounty? Help is available: 703-360-7273 (24 HR) #DVAM2015 #LookAgain http://bit.ly/ffxdv
o Start a conversation! Everyone can speak out against domestic violence. You may be the safest person for a family member, friend, neighbor, or coworker to talk to. Check out these tips:
o What to say when you think someone is being abused
o What to say if you suspect someone is using abusive behavior
Sandy Bromley, JD
Fairfax County-Wide Domestic Violence Coordinator
Office: (703) 324-9494 Cell: (571) 215-2429
Community Events & Resources: www.fairfaxdvcommunity.org
Fairfax County Domestic Violence Action Center (DVAC)
Information & Intake Line: (703) 246-4573
Fairfax County Office for Women & Domestic and Sexual Violence Services
24-hour Hotline: (703) 360-7273
October 8, 2013: Teen Dating Violence – Cyber Abuse
Did You Know?
Did you know that more than a quarter (26%) of youth in a relationship said they experienced some form of cyber dating abuse victimization in the prior year?
· Nearly a fifth (18 percent) of all youth experienced cyber dating abuse.
· Youth experienced cyber dating abuse at a rate that was comparable to that of physical dating violence, about half that of psychological dating abuse, and twice that of sexual coercion.
· Females were twice as likely as males to report being a victim of sexual cyber dating abuse and/or sexual coercion in the prior year.
· Male youth, on the other hand, reported significantly higher rates of all forms of physical dating violence victimization.
· LGBTQ youth are particularly vulnerable to all types of teen dating violence/abuse and bullying, including cyber dating abuse and cyber bullying.
· Few victims of any teen dating violence or abuse sought help after such experiences. Less than one out of ten victims reported seeking help, with half as many male victims as female victims seeking help.
* Technology, Teen Dating Violence and Abuse, and Bullying: https://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/nij/grants/243296.pdf
What can we do?
The following suggestions were given by the researchers:
ü Community Awareness
§ Raise awareness in the community & the schools about the harmfulness of perpetrating such acts and educate victims about the importance of reporting and seeking help. These activities should include all members of the school and community, including principals, teachers, and peer leaders.
§ Schools can refer youth to programs and online resources, such as online forums for safely airing grievances and resolving disputes (see http://www.thatsnotcool.com/CalloutCards.aspx).
§ Because victims of teen dating violence and abuse and bullying victims are more likely to go to friends for help or advice, schools might consider creating peer-led groups to build awareness around the issues and create a comfort-level for victims to report.
§ In addition, since this research found that many help-seeking victims also reach out to their parents, it may be valuable for schools to help parents form support networks for each other, so that parents of victimized or vulnerable youth can share advice and resources regarding preventative measures. Likewise, schools could hold seminars and workshops for parents on how to identify and report when their child is being bullied or being abused via technology, and on how to help them cope with and address the issue.
ü Targeted Outreach
§ Given the finding that so few youth victims of teen dating violence and abuse and bullying seek help, schools might create more formalized reporting mechanisms to ensure that such violence and abuse is being addressed effectively and promptly for both males and females. In particular, since less than half of male victims seek help, specific outreach efforts to male victims might be appropriate so that they can receive any needed assistance.
ü Professional Education
§ Because so much of teens’ dating violence and abuse and bullying experiences occur at school, faculty and staff should be trained on how to identify signs of both types of acts and how to handle such incidences (e.g., when to report, to whom to report, how to report).
Sandy Bromley writes: October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month (DVAM)! Each business day in October, we will send out a “DVAM: Did You Know?” highlighting interesting research findings and statistics or best practices in preventing and responding to domestic violence. Please pass along this information to your colleagues, community groups, friends, and family members. Speak out to end domestic violence in Fairfax County!