Thursday, October 13, 2011

Did you see me today? I was right there.

“I’m not allowed to see my doctor… or my family.
My friends have all gone.”
       ...I stood behind you at the market yesterday.
“I have to check in constantly. I can’t focus on my job. I  bet you’re questioning my work ethic.”

 I'm ashamed to let anyone know how she controls me.
A man is supposed to be independent, be his own boss….” 

“I was thrown against the wall yesterday.
He said ‘you’re next’ to my Mom”.  
                                    ... I’m the adorable puppy next door.“

“I miss hanging out with my friends—but he gets SO jealous.
Is this really love?” 
                                            ….your teenager’s best friend.
What are some of the biggest misconceptions we regularly hear about domestic violence:
1)      Abuse has to be physical. (In fact some of the most prolonged, controlling, terrifying and humiliating abuse we see does not involve physical abuse.)

2)      Domestic abuse happens to ‘other’ people, not people like me. (‘Other ‘can mean older, younger, from another town, a different social, racial or economic group… but unfortunately at DVRC we know that as cliché as it sounds, abuse happens to people of every race, ethnicity, income or education level, gender, sexual orientation, age and geographic community.

So during October, which is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, we’re hoping to dispel these myths. Have you seen our silhouettes around the county? Each silhouette represents someone victimized by domestic abuse that you might encounter in the grocery store, at work, in your neighborhood, or sitting down with your family at Thanksgiving.
I’ve long felt that one of the greatest tragedies of domestic violence is that it is a crime that directly affects so many people, yet because it happens behind closed doors no one knows the prevalence. National studies indicate one in four women is victimized by domestic violence in her lifetime (and some studies indicate that they prevalence among males may be as high as one in six.) So no, it’s not just people somewhere else, nor is abuse only physical. Help us to bring abuse out of the shadows… because we need to recognize it so we can END it!


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