Wednesday, October 14, 2015

National Domestic Violence Awareness Month – So Get Aware!

On September 30, President Obama proclaimed October to be National Domestic Violence Awareness Month. In his proclamation, he states that, “Nearly 1 in 4 women and 1 in 7 men in the United States have suffered severe physical violence by an intimate partner. Victims are deprived of their autonomy, liberty, and security, and face tremendous threats to their health and safety.”

Think about those numbers. One in four women. If you have a daughter, a sister, a mother, and a grandmother…one (or all) of them are at risk. Men are not just abusers, either – one in seven are also abused by domestic partners.

And the problem isn’t limited to adults.

In Ohio on October 11, a little girl – FOUR years old – needed stitches because a boy hit her. The employee at the hospital told her “I bet he likes you.”

She needed stitches, and that’s a sign of liking someone?

The sad thing is, that’s not surprising.

Back in January, an 18 year old girl announced that her boyfriend hit her because he loved her. After all, she reasoned, not many boys are willing to hit their girlfriends, and the fact he’s willing to risk jail for her is a clear sign that he loves her. Because, you know, he’s only hitting her because it helps her. The crazy part is that while a lot of people rejected her hypothesis, she also got fans because of it.

Why do people keep insisting that hurting someone equals loving them? It doesn’t matter if you’re four. If you’re 18. If you’re 50. If you’re 80. No one should hit you and claim to do it out of love.

Now let’s throw in something else fun. Also back in January, some boys were introduced to a girl and then asked to slap her. Not surprisingly, most were shocked and didn’t want to do it. They didn’t want to hit a girl, especially one they didn’t know.

So why is it then okay to hit a girl you do know? Or hit a boy you know? (Remember the statistics – it’s not just girls who get hit!)

Simple answer: it’s not okay. It’s never okay. And it’s never the fault of the victim.

What to do if you’re witnesses or suffering from domestic violence?
Call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE or visit