October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month
During October, the City of Whitehall joins with cities across the nation to bring awareness to and discuss what we can do, as a community, to end domestic violence and help its victims. Throughout the month, you will notice purple flags and a banner on Yearling Road to raise awareness that domestic violence occurs all around us. The City will also be collecting blankets, towels, sheets, pillowcases, and clothing, for CHOICES to assist domestic violence victims at City Hall throughout the month.
While everyone has an idea of what domestic violence is, there are some common myths and misconceptions about domestic violence. They include:
- It is only physical: abusive actions can be verbal, emotional, psychological, and sexual, in addition to physical violence.
- It only affects women: domestic violence can happen to anyone and occurs in all social classes and across all races and ethnicities.
- Victims can just leave: many factors – financial barriers, children, religious beliefs, shame, social pressure, etc. - make it difficult for an abused person leave. Some reports indicate that up to 50% of women and children fleeing domestic violence become homeless because they leave their abuser.
- Alcohol or drugs cause Domestic Violence: substance abuse does not cause domestic violence but it does lead to lower inhibitions which can increase the level of violence. The US Department of Health and Human Services estimates that one-quarter to one-half of abusers have substance abuse issues.
- Victims provoke the violence: the abuser is completely responsible for the abuse! No one can say or do anything which warrants being beaten. Domestic Violence is NEVER the victim’s fault!
- Abusers are evil people: anyone can find themselves on either side of a domestic violence situation.
More information and resources are available at the links below. With an informed community and the help of family and friends, the cycle of abuse can be broken.
- Abusive Behaviors Pamphlet
- Power and Control Wheel
- Signs and Indicators of a Potential Abuser
- Safety Plan
Some of the information above originally appeared on YourTango.com: 11 Horrifying Myths (And Eye-Opening Facts) About Domestic Violence.
One of the key components of victim/survivor empowerment is to be aware of the type of relationship you have. The Ohio Domestic Violence Network is an excellent resource for information and has provided the Whitehall City Attorney’s Office with pamphlets detailing warning signs of unhealthy relationships and positive elements of healthy relationships.
As always, if you are in imminent danger, please call 911 immediately. If you have questions or safety concerns, please do not hesitate to contact the Whitehall City Attorney’s Office at (614) 237-9802.