Wednesday, September 28, 2016

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month

For those of us who work with domestic violence victims, we understand the dynamics that surround this unforgiveable crime. For victims - it is a personal violation to their person that will affect them for the rest of their lives. 
One of the most difficult and frustrating matters is the lack of education that so many have about domestic violence which causes them to re-victimize the victim. Victims are constantly blamed for the abuse and judged by those who have absolutely no understanding of the causes and effects of domestic violence.
How many of you have asked the most unacceptable question of "Why don=t they just leave?"  or voiced the statement "They must like it or they would leave." Sadly, it has nothing to do with either of these!! Instead, one should wonder or ask "What are the barriers that are keeping the victim there?"  and "How can we best assist the victim and let them know this abuse is not their fault and there are options they can choose to help remove them from their dangerous situation?"

Domestic violence is a crime that in not only committed in the United States, but worldwide. It happens every day, every hour, every minute and every second. In fact, every 9 seconds in the U.S., a victim is being assaulted or beaten. Anyone can be the victim or the abuser. It affects all of us - our neighbors, family members, co-workers, friends, and even those sitting in front or beside you in Church each Sunday. It occurs in dating relationships, marriages, with family members, those one has lived with, shared a child with, or even in caretaker situations. Many people blame domestic violence on substance abuse. Although substance abuse can often play a big part and intensify the abuse, it does not cause it. All abuse is caused by one thing - POWER AND CONTROL - and the abuser goes to any degree to use it to get what she or he wants. 

This intolerable crime leaves everlasting scars of pain and fear for the victim, as well as their children. Domestic violence dates back to even the 17th and 18th centuries. Generations are affected by its affliction. Sadly, each day these crimes are being unreported and often swept under the rug or some people still have the mindset that it=s not their business to get involved. 

As we come upon this month of October, recognized nationally as Domestic Violence Awareness Month, let=s make a determined effort to search our own personal minds and hearts and decide what we, as individuals, and as a community, can do to help end this unjustifiable, deplorable crime!! As a couple suggestions - donate to our program by simply going to our website at, volunteer for our program, become a member of our Committee Against Domestic Violence. Pay attention who you vote for and learn who supports the rights of domestic violence victims and whose primary purpose is to hold abusers accountable and protect all victims of domestic violence and their children! 

And lastly, help us fill every pew and plan to attend our annual Candle lighting Ceremony on Thursday, October 13th, 7:00 p.m., at St. James Catholic Church, 742 E. Clay. This is a very powerful event where we mourn for and with those who have suffered and died at the hands of domestic violence, and celebrate the survivors and those who work tirelessly day after day to help put an end to this crime.

Teri Ducy, Domestic Violence Program Director


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