October Is Domestic Violence Awareness Month

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National Domestic Violence Awareness Month was created to help communities increase their understanding and awareness about domestic violence and to offer support to those who have been effected by the crime.

Understanding what domestic violence is and who is effected by it could save a life. Domestic violence is serious and needs to be stopped.

Domestic violence can be defined as a pattern of violence and coercive behaviors whereby the batterer seeks to control the thoughts, beliefs, or actions of his or her intimate partner, or to punish the intimate partner for resisting the batterer's control over her or him. These actions can be displayed in several different ways. A few examples of a batterer's abuse are: name-calling or put downs, physical assault, sexual assault, stalking, withholding money, and/or keeping partner from having contact with family or friends. It is important to know that ANYONE can be a victim! Any age, sex, race, culture, religion, education ,employment, or marital status can be effected by an abusive partner.

Several choose to shut their eyes and turn their backs on domestic violence, but it does not disappear and the pain does not dissolve. On an average day, more than 3 women and 1 man are murdered by a husband/wife or boyfriend/girlfriend. 1 in 4 women experience violence by a current or former spouse or boyfriend during their lifetime. In 2007, there were 250,000 rapes or sexual assaults in the U.S; accounting for more than 500 per day. 1 in 3 adolescent girls in the U.S. are victims of physical, emotional, and/or verbal abuse from a dating partner.

About 15.5 million children in the U.S. live in families in which partner violence occurs at least once in a year, with 7 million living where severe partner violence occurs. Only 70% of nonfatal partner violence is reported to law enforcement and only 21% of females and 10% of males contact an outside agency.

Cannon County S.A.V.E. wants you to know there is something you can do; we can work together to help stop the spread of this violence. If you are in need, remember, you are not alone, it is not your fault, and we are here to help. For more information about domestic violence and how you can help, visit our website at www.cannoncountysave.org. You may also find these other resources useful as well: www.endabuse.org, www.dvam.vawnet.org, www.ncadv.org, and www.domesticviolence.org.

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