- October 27, 2016
- CLLB Law
- Criminal Defense
Domestic violence is a situation that changes lives. It is a crime for the person committing the abuse and it can pose a mental health and physical risk for the victim. Domestic abuse occurs more often than most people would like to admit. It could involve a coworker, an acquaintance or a neighbor and it could be such a secret, that many people might never know it is happening.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, https://www.cdc.gov, domestic violence is reported by one of every seven men and one of every four women. October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month in the United States. It is set aside to bring attention to the emotional and physical impact that violence and abuse causes for families, individuals and entire communities. Communities are impacted by a financial cost brought about through health care, law enforcement and a loss of productivity on the part of the victim as well as the offender.
Laws for the crime of domestic violence vary from state to state. In some states, like Kentucky, it is mainly a civil matter with possible criminal consequences. In Indiana, a single incident can result in criminal charges. In addition, a protective order is usually issued to protect the victim, and a conviction carries serious penalties and even a prison sentence.
Many times, the emotional and physical scars left behind after a single occurrence of domestic violence can last a lifetime. The light that is shined during October on an otherwise ugly dark secret works to free victims from violence, foster support and seek justice for them so they are free to discover healthy and full lives.
Domestic Violence Awareness Month was first established in October 1981 by the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence. The intent of this coalition was to connect victims, mostly women and children at that time, with advocates who worked together to end the violence across the nation. The idea grew and response was so great that a recognition lasting just a day or a week was soon not enough, and an entire month was set aside to bring light to the problem in hopes of solving it and ending the violence. The goals include the celebration of survivors, connecting with others to end domestic violence, and mourning those who have lost their lives to an act of domestic violence.
Today, the month-long event has grown across the country and includes a national hotline so victims can easily and quickly reach out for help. If you find yourself or your child to be a victim of domestic violence, call 911 or remove yourself from the situation by getting away from the scene. Reach out for community help where you will be given advice that will put you on the road to safety.
Domestic Violence Awareness Month sheds light on a growing problem. Never try to hide the fact that you are a victim. Find a support group and find help. Now is the time to say no to violence and recognize the courage it takes by those who are victims to say no. Help spread awareness. Silence only hides the violence and, in a way, allows it to continue. We should all do our part to take a stand and end the violence.