National Domestic Violence Awareness is an annual flag observed in October.
Domestic Violence Awareness Month was launched nationwide in October 1987 to connect and unite individuals and organizations dealing with domestic violence issues while raising awareness about these issues, according to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCAD).
Much advances have been made in the past 30+ years to support domestic violence victims and survivors, hold perpetrators accountable, and create and update laws to further these goals, the NCAD explains on its website.
Although there has been significant progress in reducing domestic violence, an average of 20 people are physically abused by intimate partners every minute, according to the National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN). This corresponds to more than 10 million abuse victims annually. Every third woman and every fourth man have been physically abused by an intimate partner, and every fifth woman and every seventh man have been severely physically abused by an intimate partner.
Millions of Americans live in their own homes in silent fear every day, according to the NCTST, which notes on its website that millions of children are exposed to domestic violence every year. Incidents of domestic violence affect everyone within a home and can have long-lasting negative effects on children’s emotional well-being, social and academic skills.
For many, the home is a place of love, warmth and security. It’s a place where you know you are surrounded by care and support. But for millions of others, home is anything but a haven.
Both women and men can be victims of any form of violence by an intimate partner or ex-partner.
People who are in an abusive relationship will stick with their partner for a number of reasons:
- Low self-esteem and they feel like they can never find another person to be with.
- The cycle of abuse that follows physical and psychological abuse makes her believe that her partner is really sorry and that she loves him.
- It is dangerous to go. Situations sometimes get worse if no plan is made and no correct action is taken prior to leaving.
- They feel personally responsible for their partner or their own behavior. They feel like everything that goes wrong is their fault.
- They share a life. Marriages, children, homes, pets, and finances are big reasons why victims of abuse feel unable to walk.
Sometimes people don’t know if they are really in an abusive relationship because they are used to their partner telling them everything is on their head or making them feel that all problems are their own fault. Here are just a few ways to find out if you are in an abusive relationship that you need to get out of.
- Your partner has attacked you in some way in the past.
- Your partner is possessive. They keep checking you out and wondering where you are.
- Your partner is jealous. (A small amount of jealousy is not uncommon) Watch for constant allegations that you are being unfaithful or isolating yourself from family or friends.
- Your partner doesn’t make you small in any way.
- Your partner is threatening you or your family.
- Your partner abuses you physically and sexually. (Even if it doesn’t happen all the time).
If you are concerned about someone you know, you can call the local emergency number, which can put you in touch with the relevant authorities or assist you with how to proceed.
Support for survivors and people working with survivors is readily available.
- SAFE of Columbia County 24-hour emergency number 503-397-6161
- National Domestic Violence Hotline, 1-800-799-7233.
Connect with local people of trust and IT crisis lines with this interactive map. Search by location, language, or type of service.
- National Sexual Assault Hotline, 1-800-656-4673.
- National Human Trafficking Hotline, 1-888-373-7888.
And as always, if you find yourself in an emergency or know someone who is in an emergency, please do not hesitate to call 911.
The Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office contributed to this report.