October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month
IT NEVER STARTS WITH A SLAP!
This photo is a symbol of the purple domestic violence awareness ribbon
The 2020 Covid-19 pandemic has without question changed our lives, our world. For many, social distancing has and is saving lives. Unfortunately, for others, social distancing and staying home is not the safe haven we expect. It creates a serious problem…for those who are neither safe in their homes nor with the people they live with.
Who? Why? There Is No Easy Answer…
For the record, NO ONE deserves to be abused or assaulted! Domestic abuse and violence happen when one person attempts to control or to force someone else into submission. It’s a power play. Please note that it isn’t always physical violence. There are various ways a person can be victimized- there is emotional, sexual, financial, verbal and even religious abuse, yes, religious abuse! Physical abuse almost never starts with a slap! Make yourself aware of the warning signs of abuse, often, the ones listed above that lead up to physical abuse.
We Didn’t Want to Be #1 On This List
Incidents of domestic abuse and violence are increasing dramatically during this pandemic, not just in our area, but around the country. Working from home and for some, loss of employment, unfortunately, have some people in dangerous domestic situations confined with an abuser. Tensions are running high, and it appears there is nowhere to run.
This, unfortunately, is even truer for communities of color. Domestic abuse and violence don’t have a formula, criteria, or rating. It is not an age thing or an education issue or really not an economic issue when you get right down to it.
When I was growing up, there were several homes where domestic violence happened…regularly…and the women stayed. Being curious and confused, I asked why no one did anything to help-not her family, friends, neighbors, police, no one. The adults I asked-those who didn’t tell me to stay in a child’s place- had varying answers:
It was a family affair, and we should mind our own business.
The woman had it coming for not staying in a woman’s place or for getting out of line…whatever that meant.
If they put him in jail, and he loses his job, are you going to pay the rent and buy groceries?!
Again, victimizing the victim.
Culturally, we have been conditioned from generation to generation, “What happens in this house, stays in this house!” Not to use them as excuses but there are a number of very real reasons why women of color or from my experience, Black women stay in these relationships and seldom report them.
Generations of deeply rooted strong religious and cultural beliefs
The shame and embarrassment of being thought of as ‘abused’ or weak.
Believing that they can stop the abuse themselves given time
Living in a society where for people of color and Black people specifically, justice isn’t just, and racism is prevalent.
Fear of the financial/economic impact resulting from the abuser leaving or being incarcerated.
A misguided sense of loyalty and or love for the abuser.
An unrealistic perspective about family values and relationships.
Jeopardizes social status
INFORMATION AND RESOURCES ABOUT DOMESTIC VIOLENCE and ABUSE
Stop Abuse For Everyone (SAFE)
24-hr SAFEline –
Call: 512.267.SAFE (7233) | Text: 737.888.7233
If you or if you believe someone you know may be a victim of domestic abuse or violence, please contact the SAFE organization. This organization can provide information and resources.
SAFEline features a relay/VRS for the Deaf, Hard of Hearing, and DeafBlind community, advocates speak Spanish, and our staff can use interpretation services to respond to callers who speak other languages.
NATIONAL COALITION AGAINST DOMESTIC VIOLENCE (NCADV.ORG)
The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV)’s mission is to lead, mobilize and raise our voices to support efforts that demand a change of conditions that lead to domestic violence such as patriarchy, privilege, racism, sexism, and classism.