October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month

image via gypsylibrarian.blogspot.com

October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

The Domestic Violence Awareness Project defines domestic violence “as a pattern of abusive behaviors — including physical, sexual, and psychological attacks as well as economic coercion — used by one intimate partner against another (adult or adolescent) to gain, maintain, or regain power and control in the relationship. Batterers use of a range of tactics to frighten, terrorize, manipulate, hurt, humiliate, blame, often injure, and sometimes kill a current or former intimate partner.”

Domestic violence is not a problem that “other” women have. It affects women (and men) everywhere, regardless of their community, age, race, ethnicity, nationality, religion, socioeconomic status, or education level.

Here are some sobering statistics from the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence:

  • One in four women will be the victim of domestic violence in her lifetime.
  • Most incidents of domestic violence go unreported
  • Domestic violence results in $4.1 billion in health care costs annually
  • Children who witness domestic violence are likelier to perpetrate/be victims of domestic violence themselves as adults

Some Missouri-specific DV info:

  • In Missouri, 22% of women report being physically hurt by an intimate partner during their lives. (Kudos to St. Louis City Circuit Attorney Jennifer Joyce for raising DV awareness on her office’s website)
  • A summary of Missouri’s domestic violence statutes, which were revised this past spring following a report by the Attorney General’s Task Force on Domestic Violence.

Learn more about domestic violence and how to prevent it:

  • President Obama’s proclamation declaring October to be National Domestic Violence Awareness Month.
  • National Coalition Against Domestic Violence’s website
  • Missouri Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence’s website

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Em Spangler - co-partner

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