October: Domestic Violence Awareness

Domestic Violence is a pattern of behaviour which involves violence or other abuse by one person against another in a domestic setting, such as in marriage or cohabitation. Domestic violence is a big issue today, even though it is not widely talked about.  It is estimated that 1 in 4 women live in abusive relationships. It is also said that within our lifetime half of us can expect to be the victim of domestic or intimate violence. In the UK more women are killed by their partner or ex partner than by a stranger.  Another fact that never gets spoken about is men being abused by their wife or partner.  This does happen quite often, the numbers are shockingly high, so why do we never hear about it? In 2010 the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention released it’s finding from a survey on National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey. The CDC found that out of 18,000 responses in the United States 5,365,000 men had been victims of intimate partner physical violence in the previous 12 months. With the number for women being 4,741,000.  The CDC found that roughly 40 percent of victims to suffer severe physical violence were men. The percentage of male physical violence victim has been slowly rising.

Why is it we never hear anything about this in the media or news? The biggest point I want to make,is it is not okay to  hit anyone, period.  Is it because of gender roles? Would men receive fair treatment?  I wonder how many cases of women and men being abused go completely unreported, due to fear or embarrassment.  Why do men or women abuse each other? Most say that it is their way of maintaining control or power over their partner.

As a child I witnessed my mom being abused by a boyfriend, It was a horrible, terrifying night that I will never forget.  Anytime I think about it, I can hear things being smashed and thrown around the house.  I can hear my mom screaming and fighting. I remember hiding in my closet, telling myself to go and help her, but I was too scared.  I remember every little detail about that night.  I remember for weeks after, not wanting to leave my mom’s side, wanting to always be with her to protect her.  If this one incident affected me so much, I can’t even imagine how people can face it on a daily basis. How men or women can put up with ongoing abuse from a spouse or partner.  My heart breaks for anyone who has or will go through this.

It is time to let the gender role stereo types die.  It is time to bring awareness to the amount of domestic abuse that happens in our world.  We all need to be seen as equals, and receive the treatment that’s needed.  Regardless of the person’s sex, no one deserves to be abused.  Domestic Violence is not a private, family problem.  There is so much stigma that comes along with this title.  I only that anyone who was or has been abused would step forward. Tell everyone what happened. Show the abuser for who they are really are. If we all stand together a difference will be made.

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