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Domestic Violence

Shattering the Cycle Here on the Suncoast – Domestic Violence Awareness Month

| Angela Naff |

Not a topic that many people enjoy talking about, but one that needs more light shown on it is Domestic Violence. October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, trying to bring awareness to the violence impacting millions of Americans each year. This type of violence occurs just about every 15 seconds here in the Unisted States. Most Americans don’t even realize how prevalent this type of violence is due to the fact that oftentimes, cases are kept private and not made as public as other forms of violence.

Terrifying Statistics

Domestic Violence Awareness Month is not just about educating the public about how to identify, prevent, and help those suffering from this type of violence. This month is also about unifying the millions of victims who have suffered this form of violence by connecting them, even if it is in a terrible community of others in this position. The hope of all is to finally break the chains of violence that currently have such a strong grip on our nation.

Every year, approximately 10 million people become victims of this form of violence, which equates to just about 20 people every minute. It affects women, men, and children of all different races, statuses, religions, and cultures. No one is immune to domestic violence. Domestic violence shows itself in a number of different forms, whether it’s punching, slapping, choking, threatening, manipulating, yelling, and many others. No matter the situation, domestic violence is never acceptable.

Know the Signs to Help

Domestic violence is a pattern of abusive behavior in any relationship used by one partner to gain or maintain power and control over another partner. This kind of abuse affects everyone – men, women, and children of all races, religions, and cultures – without prejudice.

To help prevent domestic violence, it is important to recognize the warning signs. Signs often begin subtly and worsen over time. While not all-inclusive, the following list may indicate potential signs of domestic violence.

  • Isolation – Permission is needed before making plans or speaking to friends and family members. Victims may be forced to quit their jobs or drop out of school.
  • Low Self-Esteem – Feeling deserving of the abuser’s violence, accepting fault for, and making excuses for their partner’s behavior.
  • Unexplained Injuries – Bruises, cuts, scrapes, or even broken bones that are blamed on clumsiness or are in multiple stages of healing.
  • Depression or Anxiety – Persistent feelings of hopelessness, fear of angering their partner, and fear of repercussions for seeking help.
Domestic Violence

Those Helping on Suncoast

CASA – Stand Up to Silence – Challenging the Societal Acceptance of all Forms of Domestic Violence, CASA Stands up to Silence through Advocacy, Prevention, Intervention, and Support Services. Our Vision: A Society Free from Domestic Violence.

Hope Family Services – HOPE Family Services is a not-for-profit organization based in Bradenton, Florida (Manatee County), providing services to survivors of domestic violence.

SPARCC – If you are a survivor of domestic violence or sexual assault, you are not alone. SPARCC services are free and confidential. Call or text our helpline at 941-365-1976 (TTY) to speak with a trained advocate 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. 

Especially during the month of October, make sure that you support domestic violence survivors and help to get the word out about the destructive threat that domestic violence has on so many homes all across the Suncoast and the country. Whether you are an advocate or volunteer with agencies that champion victims and try to change laws, we all have a piece to play in diminishing numbers of domestic violence.

If you or someone you know is in desperate need of help, contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1−800−799−7233 or TTY at 1−800−787−3224.

Feature Photo Courtesy of Deposit Photos

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