October was Domestic Violence Awareness Month

BY Jamillah Luqman

October 1st was the kick off date for the beginning of Domestic Violence Awareness Month in Ohio; it calls for a Day of Unity. The Day of Unity has been celebrated since 1981 making a powerful statement uniting survivors of domestic violence and their children. 1987 was the year the first hotline was established. Every year since 1989 legislation has passed a commemorative law honoring victims of Domestic Violence in Ohio. October was filled with events state wide to mourn lost victims, celebrate success stories and encourage the growth of awareness in our communities, and to create a connection for advocates and survivors of domestic violence.

So what are the actual numbers like? One in four of us has or will experience domestic violence in our lifetimes. That is 25% of your friends, neighbors, church friends and relatives! It’s horrifying and degrading and costs our state millions of dollars in mental health recovery.

One third of reported victims are eventually killed by their domestic partner. In 70-80 % of homicides of either the male or female partner, the man typically physically abused the female partner. Less than 20% seek medical treatment for their injuries and boys who have witnessed violence are more likely to abuse their future partners.

So what can we do? You can support your local organization; help with donations both monetary and otherwise. Get involved, speak out, and write letters and most of all CARE!

Below are some resources for victims and for more facts on the growing problem of abuse.

National Domestic Violence Hotline: 800-799-SAFE, National Sexual Assault Hotline: 800-656-HOPE, Stopviolencegivehope.org, National Coalition against Domestic Violence, Partnershipfoa.com and Ohio Domestic Violence Nettwork.com