How does it start? Anger, lack of control and lashing out at someone else. One in four women and one in nine men will experience domestic violence in their lifetime according to the Centers for Disease Control. Five million children are impacted by domestic violence each year and two hundred seventy five million people are impacted worldwide from domestic violence according to Makers of Memories.
Can you imagine what it’s like to live in constant fear of violence? Or maybe you know what it’s like from personal experience. It’s not pretty. Long-term effects of domestic violence on women who have been abused may include anxiety, depression, death, health problems, malnutrition, panic attacks, suicide attempts and an inability to adequately respond to the needs of their children according to findcounseling.com.
Those children suffer, too. They suffer shame, guilt and self blame, fear of abandonment or expressing emotions, anger and depression. Children of domestic violence can act out or withdraw, be aggressive or passive, act as a parent substitute, lie, have bedwetting and nightmares, show reduced intellectual competency, experience headaches and stomachaches and be at risk for self abuse according to the Alabama Coalition Against Domestic Violence (ACADV).
October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month sponsored by the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV). How to help? Besides direct donations, NCADV gets support from many companies.
You can buy products from the Body Shop in the Stop Violence in the Home campaign which has raised over $1.5 million dollars. Mineral Fusion also gives to NCADV and has a special deal this month where you can get free shipping and a free facial scrub while they donate $1 to NCADV if you spend $50 or more. NCADV partners with Cellular Recycler, so if you have old cell phones to donate, email firstname.lastname@example.org. NCADV also receives $5 from Generess when you fill a prescription with them and make them your charity of choice. They take vehicle donations as well.
Another important organization against domestic violence is Futures Without Violence. It has programs to prevent domestic violence like the Coaching Boys into Men Coaches Leadership program and Preventing Violence Against Women on College Campuses. The focus on developing men is important since most of domestic violence happens to women from their male partners. In 2010 Futures Without Violence also developed a resource center called Workplaces Respond to Domestic and Sexual Violence: A National Resource Center which has advice for employers and unions.
Makers of Memories (MOM) helps children of domestic violence. MOM reports that without “education, a new focus and new tools, more than two thirds of these children will go on as adults to repeat what they learned.” That’s why intervention is so important, so kids can stop the cycle and see that their experience has made them ready to deal with anything.
Today’s blog is serious business. If you know someone going through this now, you can help. The National Domestic Abuse Hotline is 1800-799-SAFE. Its counselors can give you tips on what to do. Let’s help stop the violence.