Domestic Violence Awareness Month is designed to unify women and men all across the world who have been victims of domestic violence. It is important to recognize that domestic violence impacts millions of people, and it’s not only women who are victims; many men suffer domestic violence as well.
It is a problem across every status, culture, religion, and race. There are many different forms of domestic violence as well, which is why raising awareness is so critical.
History Of Domestic Violence Awareness Month
The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence first started Domestic Violence Awareness Month in 1981. Back then, it was a Day Of Unity. However, it quickly evolved into a full week. Then, the first Domestic Violence Awareness Month took place in 1987.
There have been some significant moments in society over the years with regard to domestic violence. In 1994, the Violence Against Women Act was passed. This was led by Senator Joe Biden, and it is considered a landmark in our fight against domestic violence. The legislation was put in place to ensure that victims received services and programs and that offenders were held accountable. There are great efforts all around the world in order to reduce domestic violence, but there is still a lot that needs to be done, which is why Domestic Violence Awareness Month is so important.
Signs You Are In An Abusive Relationship
A lot of people do not realize that they are in an abusive relationship. Here are some of the signs that you could be in an abusive relationship that you need to get out of…
- Your partner sexually or physically abuses you. If they ever make you have sex with them when you don’t want to, hit you, shove you, or push you, this is domestic abuse.
- Your partner threatens you or your family.
- Your partner puts your down. They attack your capabilities, mental health, looks, or intelligence. They blame you for their violent outbursts.
- Your partner is jealous. They may isolate you from your family or friends or they may accuse you of not being faithful.
- Your partner is possessive. They may check up on you all of the time and they may get angry if you hang out with certain people.
- Your partner has strangled you, beat you, or hit you in the past.
When we talk about raising awareness for Domestic Violence Awareness Month, it’s important that we acknowledge emotional abuse. This is a much bigger problem than a lot of people realize. Just because you don’t have bruises on your skin does not mean you are not being abused. A lot of women and men suffer from emotional abuse, and it is no less destructive. Unfortunately, emotional abuse is often overlooked or minimized, even by those experiencing this.
Emotional abusers look to chip away at your feelings of independence and self-worth. You can end up feeling like you do not have anything without your abusive partner or that there is no way out of your relationship.
Emotional abuse includes verbal abuse. This includes controlling behavior, intimidation, isolation, shaming, blaming, name-calling, and yelling. Abusers who use psychological or emotional abuse will often throw about threats of physical violence, as well as other repercussions if you do not do what they demand.
The scars of emotional abuse run deep, and they are very real! You may assume that physical abuse is a lot worse, as people can end up with physical wounds and send you to the hospital. However, emotional abuse can be just as damaging. Sometimes, it can even be worse. This is why it is important to raise awareness of all types of domestic violence and abuse.
Financial abuse is one of the subtler forms of emotional abuse. Some examples of this include:
- Taking your money or stealing from your
- Sabotaging your job – calling constantly or making you miss work
- Preventing you from choosing your own career or working
- Restricting you to an allowance
- Withholding basic necessities, such as shelter, medications, clothes, and food
- Making you account for every penny you spend
- Withholding credit cards or money
- Rigidly controlling your finances
How To Observe Domestic Violence Awareness Month
There are a number of different ways that you can observe Domestic Violence Awareness Month. One option is to spread awareness about domestic violence, including the impact it has on people and how to spot the signs. This is something that you can do from your computer. You can post messages on social media so that your friends, family, and followers learn about domestic violence. You may also decide to host an event.
Fundraising is another thing that you can do in order to observe Domestic Violence Awareness Month. From bake sales to fun runs, there are many different events that you can organize in order to raise awareness about domestic violence and raise funds for victims too. You don’t have to opt for a community event either. You may decide to simply have some friends and family around your home and host a wine tasting evening or a cook-off. You can then raise awareness about domestic violence and ask people to donate.
Speaking Up If You Think Someone Is Being Abused
If you think that someone you know is being abused, it is important to speak up. A lot of people worry that it is none of their business, yet you could save a person’s life by speaking up. It’s better to speak up, even if you’re wrong, rather than saying nothing at all.
Simply talk to the person in private and let them know that you are concerned. Mention the signs and why it has worried you. Tell them that you will honor their privacy if they open up to you, and tell them that you can help them in any way possible. Often, people in domestic relationships need someone to help them out of the situation, and so one conversation can make all of the difference.