According to the Safe Horizon’s website, 1 in 4 women will experience domestic violence and 3 million men are physically assaulted every year. With staggering numbers like this, it’s obvious to see why domestic violence is such an important topic that is being discussed more than ever.
October is Domestic Violence awareness month and though most Americans know that it occurs, the public knowledge surrounding domestic violence is still not strong enough.
The cost of domestic violence is higher than just physical problems, as $8,000,000 is the amount of paid leave women receive due to abuse they are subjected to every single year. Three women every day are killed by domestic violence, often times leaving families and children without a present mother or father. The problem isn’t only a women’s issue. 1 in 7 men will be severely injured by an intimate partner. The number is higher in gay couples, with a 2 in 5 ratio of gay or bisexual men that have or will suffer relationship violence. 50% of lesbians will experience domestic violence in their lifetime. Transgender people are 2 to 6 times more likely to be subject to domestic violence than a non-LGBT person.
The violence doesn’t only affect those physically hurt. 10 million children will be exposed to relationship violence every year.
DoSomething.org says that 1 in 3 young adults will be subject to an abusive or unhealthy relationship. A big issue is that many people associate unhealthy relationships with yelling or physical attacks. Contrary to popular belief, an abusive relationship is any relationship in which one partner has and seeks to have more power and control over the other. This manifests in control over money, social activities, non-romantic relationships, and manipulation.
According to the same dosomething.org campaign, teen girls that have experienced abuse are 6 times more likely to become pregnant or contract a sexually transmitted disease. Adolescents suffering from relationship abuse are also more likely to be subjected to long-term consequences such as alcoholism, eating disorders, suicidal thoughts and violent behavior.
October is domestic violence awareness month, so what can you do?
Education and raising awareness about the signs of domestic violence are the first steps. Learn the signs and then tell everyone that you know.
Advocacy and visibility is the next step. Purple is the color associated with domestic violence, wearing the color and being visible creates a safe place for those that have been affected by domestic violence to come forward.
If you have been subject to domestic violence, by joining a support group to help yourself heal you will also simultaneously help others.
Choosing to stay educated on the subject of domestic violence is a huge step in the right direction. As a society, we must create an environment where it is not acceptable to perpetuate violence towards another person, especially against those we supposedly say we love.