Domestic Violence Awareness
October is domestic violence awareness month. Domestic violence is violence or other abuse by one person against another in a domestic setting, such as in marriage or cohabitation. Globally, the victims of domestic violence are overwhelmingly women, and women tend to experience more severe forms of violence. They are also likelier than men to use intimate partner violence in self-defense. Domestic violence is among the most underreported crimes worldwide for both men and women. Domestic violence often occurs when the abuser believes that abuse is an entitlement, acceptable, justified, or unlikely to be reported. In abusive relationships, there may be a cycle of abuse during which tensions rise and an act of violence is committed, followed by a period of reconciliation and calm. Victims of domestic violence may be trapped in domestic violent situations through isolation, power and control, traumatic bonding to the abuser, cultural acceptance, lack of financial resources, fear, shame, or to protect children. As a result of abuse, victims may experience physical disabilities, dysregulated aggression, chronic health problems, mental illness, limited finances, and poor ability to create healthy relationships. Victims may experience severe psychological disorders, such as post-traumatic stress disorder. Children who live in a household with violence often show psychological problems from an early age, such as avoidance, hypervigilance to threats, and dysregulated aggression which may contribute to vicarious traumatization.
There is help for victims of domestic violence. Help begins with awareness. If you or someone you know is involved in an abusive or violent relationship – contact a domestic violence shelter near you. There are resources to help.
Catholic Charities Regional Agency operates Christina House. Christina House is a domestic violence shelter located in Columbiana County. For more information, CLICK HERE.