October is known as an awareness month for different associations. One of those is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Domestic violence can take many forms such as physical, sexual, emotional, mental, psychological and financial abuse.
Domestic violence, no matter what form, occurs when one person in a relationship uses actions in order to control the other person in the relationship. Hitting, kicking, punching, belittling, name-calling, humiliating, degrading, raping and making a partner feel crazy (also known as gaslighting) are just a very few of the ways that one person can attempt to control another.
Domestic violence does not discriminate in terms of race, social status or economic status. Rates of abuse are similar between men and women, according to ncadv.org. One in three women and one in four men experience domestic violence in the United States throughout their lifetimes. On average, every 20 minutes, someone is abused by an intimate partner.
One in five women and one in 71 men have been raped in their lifetimes, according to ncadv.org. The presence of a gun in any domestic violence situation increases the risk of homicide by 500%; 15% of all violent crime is perpetrated by intimate partners; and women between the ages of 19-24 are the most commonly abused people.
There are resources to assist victims of domestic violence. The best way to get help in an emergency is to call 911. Often, your town, a nearby town or city will have a domestic violence resource center that a person can go to in cases of actual or suspected abuse. In Chambersburg, Women In Need (WIN) will attempt to help victims of domestic violence. WIN assists with such things as sending an advocate to court with a victim in order to obtain a protection from abuse (PFA) order and helping victims find suitable housing away from their abusers.
People who suspect they are in an abusive relationship can visit websites in order to help determine if they are being abused, obtain more information about abuse and statistics, and get advice on how to leave an abusive relationship. Www.ncadv.org, www.thehotline.org, and domesticviolence.org are three of the most common.
Below are some websites that will assist teenagers and adults in determining what domestic violence is and how to escape an abusive relationship.
If you are in immediate danger, the best resource is to call 911.
In Chambersburg, Women in Need (WIN) is a local domestic violence network that assists Franklin and Fulton Counties. Their 24-hour-hotline is (717)264-4444 or (800)621-6660.