October is National Domestic Violence Awareness month. This is often a topic that is ignored and considered to be a “personal” matter that should not be discussed publicly. Many people believe that if it doesn’t affect them personally then there isn’t a problem. Domestic Violence should not be ignored, in fact, domestic violence affects everyone is some form, whether you are a victim directly or a member of a community. Domestic Violence costs more than $37 billion a year in law enforcement involvement, legal work, medical and mental health treatment, and lost productivity at companies. In the United States one in every four women will experience severe physical violence from an intimate partner at some point in their lifetime. Over 10 million children witness violence in their homes each year. With alarming statistics like this, odds are, you likely know someone who is experiencing domestic violence. It could be a sibling, parent, friend, co-worker, congregation member, or student. Domestic Violence doesn’t have to just be physical violence, it can also include mental, emotional, financial, and verbal.
“So how can you get involved and help you might ask?” It’s very easy! You can volunteer your time at your local domestic violence shelter or donate items that the shelter is in need of. If you think a friend or someone you know might be going through an abuse relationship you can help them out by getting them in contact with their local domestic violence program or by simply just listening to them and believing them.To close out the month of October’s Domestic Violence blogs, I’ve chosen a passage from the Bible that is one of my favorites. It is from Isaiah chapter 41; verses 10-13. “Don’t fear, because I am with you; don’t be afraid, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, I will surely help you; I will hold you with my righteous strong hand. All who rage against you will be shamed and disgraced. Those who contend with you will be as nothing and will perish. You will look for your opponents, and won’t find them. Those who fight you will be of no account and will die. I am the Lord your God, who grasps your strong hand, who says to you, don’t fear; I will help you.”
God’s help comes in many forms and takes many shapes. So ask yourself, could I be of help and be that person who could make a difference in the life of another experiencing domestic violence?
DeWitt County Dove Outreach Specialist