Did you know that on average, nearly 20 people per minute experience physical abuse by an intimate partner in the United States? In the span of a year, this equates to over 10 million men and women. For Domestic Violence Awareness Month, consider these reasons as to why awareness matters.
October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month
Domestic Violence Awareness Month was officially declared in October 1989. Since then, it has become a yearly campaign aimed at ending domestic violence in our communities.
The month-long awareness program is designed to celebrate survivors, honor victims, and teach prevention. It is an especially important time for the field of health and human services. Individuals and communities that rely on all types of social services are at higher risk of experiencing domestic abuse. As such, October serves as a time for community services to come together and increase their outreach.
The State of Domestic Violence
Did you know that on average, nearly 20 people per minute experience physical abuse by an intimate partner in the United States? In the span of a year, this equates to over 10 million men and women.
This violent and aggressive behavior is known as domestic violence. The most common form of domestic violence is intimate partner violence, including psychological, sexual, or physical abuse from one partner to another. Children and elders can also suffer from domestic violence. According to the CDC, 1 in 4 women and 1 in 10 men report experiencing some form of domestic violence each year.
Statistically, this means that each of us know someone who has experienced domestic violence. Despite this, many people–especially those with lower socio-economic status–are unsure of how to recognize and address such violence.
“If you look at the statistics of what communities understand that domestic violence is, how much they utilize services, and how much they’re aware of their rights under certain federal and state policies, the awareness is actually quite minimal and confused,” says Professor Krista Chronister of the University of Oregon.
Why Awareness Matters
While the state of domestic violence may still have a long way to go, health and human service organizations can do their part through awareness. October is the perfect month to get started, and every effort counts.
There are many ways to get involved. Spreading awareness through social media posts and newsletters help increase knowledge about prevention and identification. Sharing informational cards or resources about domestic violence in your service organization is another great way to participate in Domestic Violence Awareness Month.
The best part about advocating for domestic violence awareness? It has important and valuable results. Check out below for three reasons why awareness matters.
- Victims May Not Reach Out For Help
Unfortunately, individuals experiencing domestic violence may not always know how to reach out for help. There are a myriad of possible reasons–distrust in authority, religious implications, or the misguided feeling that they deserve the abuse, just for example. When health and human service organizations advocate for awareness, they can help quell these hesitations for victims and survivors.
- Awareness Helps Us Know The Signs
In addition to helping the victims of domestic violence directly, awareness campaigns can help individuals and communities recognize the signs and speak up when they see it. As stated earlier, 1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men will experience some form of domestic abuse in their lifetime. If communities are going to end domestic violence, they need to work together to prevent it.
- It Encourages Community Care Coordination
Even if your health and human service organization does not deal with domestic violence directly, chances are the people you work with need access to resources for it. When you learn to direct individuals you serve to other community services, it builds a community of care coordination. Doing so can help your organization save money and help more people.
ClientTrack® is our industry-leading case management platform for domestic violence organizations as well as other health and human service groups. Take our work with Safe Horizons for example–as the nation’s leading victim assistance program, they help advocate for thousands of domestic violence victims every year.
Reach out for a demo of ClientTrack today.
If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic violence, know that there is help. Please refer to the resources below for where to start:
- National Domestic Violence Hotline: (Call 800-799-7233)
- Crisis Text Line: (Text HOME to 741741)
- National Parent Hotline: (Call 1-855-427-2736)
- Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline: (visit https://www.childhelp.org/childhelp-hotline/ or call 1-800-422-4453)
- National Domestic Violence Hotline: (visit http://thehotline.org, text LOVEIS to 22522, or call 1-800-799-7233)
- Futures Without Violence: (visit https://www.futureswithoutviolence.org/resources-events/get-help/)