Domestic Violence Awareness Month
September 13, 2013, almost 20 years after the passage of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), President Obama proclaimed the month of October as National Domestic Violence Awareness Month. In recognizing domestic violence as an issue of national concern, the Proclamation called on all citizens, advocates, victim service providers, law enforcement and our criminal justice system to stand with survivors of domestic violence, and resolve to end the despicable crimes committed against intimate partners.
One in four women and one in seven men in this country suffer serious physical violence at some point in their lifetime, while every day, three women die as a result of domestic violence. The cost of intimate partner violence exceeds $5.8 billion dollars each year. Millions of Americans live in constant fear of domestic violence and only 20% seek protection. One third of abused and neglected children will later abuse their own children. Domestic violence can be physical and/or sexual including kicking, punching, slapping, forced intimacy and rape, or emotional including threats, coercion, stalking and even internet invasion of privacy and forged identity.
The solutions for combating this national imperative are not easy and the long road to ending intimate partner violence requires a concerted efforts in providing victims with advocacy and access to courts and law enforcement, housing and economic support for victims and survivors, holding offenders accountable, educating public and working with our youth to prevent and stop violence before it starts.
In his Proclamation last year, President Obama encouraged “the victims, their loved ones, and concerned citizens to learn more by calling the National Domestic Violence Hotline” at 1-800-799-SAFE, or by visiting www.TheHotline.org. He also called on our nation to “honor National Domestic Violence Awareness Month by promoting peace in our own families, homes, and communities, and by renewing our commitment to end domestic violence in every city, every town, and every corner of America.” He called on all Americans to speak out against domestic violence and support local efforts to assist victims of these crimes in finding the help and healing they need.”
What is your commitment going to be this October?