A woman files for divorce. Her husband murders her, and then kills himself. This is an oft-repeated horrific tragedy that, once again, points to the need for continued focus on the proliferation of domestic violence in this community and beyond. To this day, few people are aware of the lethal threat posed to a woman living in a relationship where she lives in a climate of constant fear, only to lose her life when she tries to escape, followed by her abuser’s rage erupting into deadly violence.
News headlines, alone, are not enough to heighten public awareness. Rather, a deeper understanding of the sometimes-counterintuitive dynamics of domestic violence is needed for a person to understand the degree to which they may be in mortal danger. It could be a friend, neighbor, or family member that may be in need of such an understanding so they may more readily encourage a woman to seek the support she may need to ensure her own safety.
October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. This is one reason Family Services enlists men, and all community members as we did at our October 4th Walk A Mile In Her Shoes to join in solidarity with victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. We have to continue to raise awareness of this pervasive danger in our community. Every day we, and sister agencies such as Grace Smith House, House of Hope, Safe Homes of Orange County, Family of Woodstock, and others stand ready to assist victims of domestic violence.
While we know that women are, disproportionately, victims of domestic violence, it is also critically important to recognize its impact on others within our community. 1 in 9 men and 1 in 2 transgender individuals will experience intimate partner violence in their lifetime. Furthermore, 1 in 15 children are exposed to intimate partner violence every year with 90% of these children being eye witnesses to the violence.
If you or someone close to you are a victim of domestic violence, please reach out by calling Family Services’ Center for Victim Safety and Support Hotline at 845-485-5550.