Tulane VISTA Blog

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Field Report—Women With a Vision

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October is often remembered as a month to raise awareness of Breast Cancer with the country seeing multiple nationwide marches and other large scale events such as the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer and the Susan G. Komen 3-Day and other such events. Far less Americans are aware that October is also Domestic Violence Awareness month, but organizations like Women With A

Photo from WWAV's Clothesline Project with Xavier University

Photo from WWAV’s Clothesline Project with Xavier University

Vision take the month to honor survivors of Domestic Violence and their experiences. This year, WWAV put on a series of events in October including a community dialogue on Domestic Violence in the Black Community, a series of Healthy Relationships Workshops, and a collaboration with Xavier University for the Clotheslines Project (The Clothesline Project (CLP) is a program started on Cape Cod, MA, in 1990 to address the issue of violence against women. It is a vehicle for women affected by violence to express their emotions by decorating a shirt. They then hang the shirt on a clothesline to be viewed by others as testimony to the problem of violence against women. With the support of many, it has since spread world-wide. For more, visit http://www.clotheslineproject.org/).  In October of 1981, the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence observed their first Day of Unity which was intended to connect organizers against Domestic Violence working with women and their families. The day evolved into a week and later a month being celebrated on the local, state, and national level in october of 1987 when the first Domestic Violence Awareness Month was observed (this was also the same year the first national toll-free Domestic Violence hotline begun. The Day of Unity is still celebrated on the first Monday in October).  Despite these efforts to raise awareness for Domestic Violence, the country still has far to go when it comes to addressing Domestic Violence as has recently been spotlighted in the Ray Rice/NFL Domestic Violence event and its subsequent responses. While the overwhelming majority of people responded with backlash at the NFL’s lackluster treatment of Domestic Violence cases both in this and earlier cases, others revealed just how far America has to go as a country to address Domestic Violence

Tweet from Ray Rice's wife in response to Halloween costumes depicting her and her husband.

Tweet from Ray Rice’s wife in response to Halloween costumes depicting her and her husband.

(when the original video of Ray Rice dragging his unconscious then-fiancee out of an elevator surfaced, the NFL suspended Rice for 2 games. Later when video surfaced of him punching his wife, his NFL contract was terminated). In light of these events, here are some facts about Domestic Violence that we should all consider not just in October, but as we navigate the relationships in our lives and the lives of those around us everyday.

 

#1 FACT:

Most domestic violence incidents are never reported.

The Victims

  • 1 in 4 women will experience domestic violence during her lifetime.
  • Women experience more than 4 million physical assaults and rapes because of their partners, and men are victims of nearly 3 million physical assaults.
  • Women are more likely to be killed by an intimate partner than men
  • Women ages 20 to 24 are at greatest risk of becoming victims of domestic violence.
  • Every year, 1 in 3 women who is a victim of homicide is murdered by her current or former partner.

The Families

  • Every year, more than 3 million children witness domestic violence in their homes.
  • Children who live in homes where there is domestic violence also suffer abuse or neglect at high rates (30% to 60%).
  • A 2005 Michigan study found that children exposed to domestic violence at home are more likely to have health problems, including becoming sick more often, having frequent headaches or stomachaches, and being more tired and lethargic.
  • A 2003 study found that children are more likely to intervene when they witness severe violence against a parent – which can place a child at great risk for injury or even death.

The Consequences

  • According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, domestic violence is the third leading cause of homelessness among families.
  • In New York City, 25% of homeless heads of household became homeless due to domestic violence.
  • Survivors of domestic violence face high rates of depression, sleep disturbances, anxiety, flashbacks, and other emotional distress.
  • Domestic violence contributes to poor health for many survivors.  For example, chronic conditions like heart disease or gastrointestinal disorders can become more serious due to domestic violence.
  • Among women brought to emergency rooms due to domestic violence, most were socially isolated and had fewer social and financial resources than other women not injured because of domestic violence.
  • Without help, girls who witness domestic violence are more vulnerable to abuse as teens and adults.
  • Without help, boys who witness domestic violence are far more likely to become abusers of their partners and/or children as adults, thus continuing the cycle of violence in the next generation.
  • Domestic violence costs more than $37 billion a year in law enforcement involvement, legal work, medical and mental health treatment, and lost productivity at companies.

 

Facts from Safe Horizon

 

 

 

 

 

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About Mwende Katwiwa

www.FreeQuencySpeaks.com | www.Noirlinians.com

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This entry was posted on October 28, 2014 by in VISTA Field Reports.

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