Have you ever had a victim of domestic violence try and open-up to you about their abuse and you not know what to say or how to handle it?
Have you found yourself asking a victim of domestic violence, “why do you stay?”
Moultrie County Dove Office understands that without being properly trained on domestic violence and best domestic violence practices, it is hard to know what to say or do when a victim of domestic violence finally decides to open-up to you about their abuse and we want you to be better prepared. Asking a victim of domestic violence “why do you stay” can place emphasis in the wrong place and make the victim feel as if they have done something wrong. In all actuality, there are many reasons victims of domestic violence stay in and return to abusive relationships. Victims of domestic violence stay in abusive relationships for fear for their personal safety and the safety and well-being of their children. Statistics show that a victim of domestic violence is at a 75% chance of being killed after leaving an abusive relationship. Victims of domestic violence stay in or return to abusive relationships because they lack support from family or friends. Abusers keep victims isolated from family and friends. Long-term abuse weakens victims of domestic violence and makes it difficult for them to make decisions without the help of a family member, friend, or advocate. It is important to understand that women are battered because they will not give in. They have often tried to confront their abuser about the behavior and tried to leave. Abusers batter women to scare them into staying. At Dove we understand victimization and re-victimization and provide one-on-one counseling and group counseling to help empower victims of domestic violence and give them the courage they need to make the choices that best fit the victim and their children’s needs. Dove understands the fear and confusion victims of domestic violence face while trying to leave an abusive relationship. At Dove we provide emergency shelter and legal advocacy to help walk victims of domestic violence through the court process. Victims of domestic violence stay in and return to abusive relationships because it is often difficult to find housing, work, and childcare. At Dove we provide emergency shelter, and work with community partners to help victims of domestic violence find permanent housing, childcare, and employment. Victims of domestic violence stay in and return to abusive relationships because they value the time and effort they put into their relationship and they have hopes and beliefs that the abuser will change and get the help they need to stop the abusive behavior. However, abusers are rarely held accountable for their abusive behavior. They are not ordered to get the counseling and services they need to stop the abusive behavior and continue to harass the victim or move on to another victim. At Dove we work with local law enforcement and court officials to continue to strive toward better domestic violence practices.
Moultrie County Dove Office asks that in the future if a victim of domestic violence feels comfortable opening-up to you about abuse, do not panic and ask the victim the age-old question, “why do you stay”? instead, please ask: “have you talked to a trained domestic violence advocate”?
A trained domestic violence advocate is available at Dove’s 24hr hotline by calling 217.728.9303. If you or someone you know is interested in Dove’s Domestic Violence training to be better prepared for this type of situation, please call 217.428.6616 to get more information or register for our next upcoming class or training.
Group services are now being offered in Moultrie County. Anyone interested in group services should contact 217.728.9303 for time and location.
Moultrie County Dove Office would like to thank all of you in the community for your continued support! Throughout the month of April, we received monetary donations, diapers, socks, baby items, bathroom items and toiletries. Thank You, You Truly Make A Difference!
Moultrie County Coordinator
Domestic Violence Program