Intimate Partner Violence Month (Week 1)

October 3, 2019

October is Intimate Partner Violence Awareness Month (a/k/a Domestic Violence Abuse) According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (“NCADV”) on average, nearly 20 people per minute are physically abused by an intimate partner in the U.S. During one year, this equates to more than 10 million women and men. The NCADV further notes that 1 in 7 women and 1 in 25 men have been injured by an intimate partner. When it comes to rape, 1 in 5 women and 1 in 71 men in the U.S. have been raped in their lifetime and almost half of female (46.7 percent) and male (44.9 percent) victims of rape in the U.S. were raped by an acquaintance. Of these, 45.4 percent of female rape victims and 29 percent of male rape victims were raped by an intimate partner. These are people you and I know. It may be your sister, daughter, aunt, mother, close friend, brother, son, uncle or even a fellow church member that is the victim of intimate partner violence. It is time to end the silence and shame and challenge the stigma that surrounds those who are victims of intimate partner violence. This month we will join with organizations across our nation to continue raising awareness about intimate partner violence.

The National Domestic Violence Hotline defines domestic violence as a pattern of behaviors used by one partner to maintain power and control over another partner in an intimate relationship. Domestic abuse often (but NOT ALWAYS) includes physical abuse. Forms of domestic abuse can include:

Physical battering: The abuser’s attacks or aggressive behavior can range from bruising to murder. It often begins with what is excused as trivial contacts which escalate into more frequent and serious attacks (this can include the abuse of household pets).

Sexual abuse: Physical attack by the abuser is often accompanied by, or culminates in, sexual abuse where the woman is forced to have sexual intercourse with her abuser, or to engage in unwanted sexual activity.

Psychological battering: The abuser’s psychological or mental abuse can include constant verbal abuse, harassment, excessive possessiveness, fault-finding, isolating the woman from friends and family, deprivation of physical and economic resources, and destruction of personal property.

Battering intensifies: It often begins with behaviors like threats, name calling, abuse in your presence (such as punching a fist through a wall) and/or damage to objects or pets. It may escalate to restraining, pushing, kicking, slapping, pinching, tripping, biting, throwing, or grabbing. Finally, it may become life-threatening with serious behaviors such as choking, breaking bones, or the use of deadly weapons. (Remember, ANY household item can be used as a dangerous weapon!)

Children and abuse: Domestic violence affects children, even if they’re just witnesses. If you have children, remember that exposure to domestic violence puts them at risk of problems at school, aggressive behavior and low self-esteem. You might worry that seeking help could further endanger you and your children, or that it might break up your family. Fathers might fear that abusive partners will try to take their children away from them. However, getting help is the best way to protect your children — and yourself.

Many believe when it comes to domestic violence/ abuse, only women are victims of violence. Next week we will present signs of domestic violence against men and help them recognize signs of abuse.

Source: The National Domestic Violence Hotline/ 1-800-799-7233

Next Week: Domestic Violence Against Men

General Disclaimer: The writer has used her best efforts in preparation of this information. No representations or warranties for its contents, either expressed or implied, are offered. Neither the publisher nor the writer shall be liable in any way for readers’ efforts to apply, rely or utilize the information or recommendations presented herein as they may not be suitable for you or necessarily appropriate for every situation to which they may refer. This information is for educational purposes only. If you would like to contact Rev. Lester, write to her c/o P.O. Box 121, Brookfield, WI. 53008.