October Is Domestic Violence Awareness Month

Lincoln County Coalition Against Domestic Violence Press Release:

DV Call to ActionWe all know Domestic Violence takes place, but if it doesn’t directly affect us, we spend little time thinking about it and almost no time talking about it.  We should know that those in our community who live with it are almost unable to think about anything else!  They may be in constant fear for their lives, may think that they are the only ones having to live like “this” and don’t know how to talk about it or how to get help. 

It is a powerfully shameful thing, even for those who are victims.  Who wants to admit to anyone that the partner you should be able to most rely on has made you fear for your life and those of your children?  What child wants to admit that someone in their own home is threatening or hurting them or their family?  Like in the movie “Sleeping with the Enemy,” getting away alive is much harder than anyone can imagine who hasn’t lived through it.

Virtually every adult in Lincoln County knows someone who has been or is being abused by an intimate partner – even if you’re not consciously aware of it.  We don’t talk about it because generally we don’t know what to do about it.  It’s easier simply to ignore it or pretend it doesn’t exist.  Know that Silence Enables Violence.  Also know that beyond the men and women who serve heroically in our local law enforcement, there are also other people who have dedicated their lives to helping survivors and who provide services immediately and locally.  

The Lincoln County Coalition Against Domestic Violence (LCCADV), whose Shelter operates locally as Amy’s House and whose volunteers operate in two locations (Lincolnton and Denver) as Amy’s Closet are working non-stop to provide clothing and other essentials to families who often have to leave a violent incident with nothing more than the clothes on their backs. Amy’s House is available at 704-736-1224; on Facebook @LincolnCountyCADV; and on the internet at lincolncounty-cadv.org.  Besides emergency shelter, food and other essentials, the LCCADV staff provides legal advocacy, connection to counselling, support groups, information on financial management, job search, resume writing, job interviewing, housing referrals and other supportive actions to enable survivors to achieve a safe home for themselves and their family.

Domestic Violence is a pattern of coercive behavior in which one person attempts to control another through threats or actual use of tactics, which may include any or all of the following:  physical, sexual, verbal, financial and psychological abuse.  The behavior may occur during a relationship or after one partner has attempted to end the relationship.  It includes behaviors that physically harm, arouse fear, prevent a partner from doing what they wish or forcing them to do something they do not want to do.  It occurs in every classification or “identification” of people, regardless of race, age, education, religion or economic status. 

  • Although DV survivors include men, women and children, 85% of survivors who request assistance are female.
  • 1 in 15 children are exposed to and will witness domestic violence, which impacts them for the rest of their lives
  • Domestic Violence accounts for 15% of violent crime in the US and over 40% of 911 calls on Night Shift across the country.  
  • According to the FBI, 40% of US female and 20% of male homicides result from domestic violence. 
  • 72% of murder/suicides involve intimate partners and 94% of the murder victims are female.

Except when a genuinely good person makes one bad mistake and instantly regrets it, DV very rarely stops with one incident.  It typically escalates in both frequency and extent of injury.  According to the SBI, in North Carolina in 2019, 57 people were killed in domestic violence, ranging from 6 months old to 76 years.

You can help.  Talk about Domestic Violence with your family and friends.  Think about the survivors.  Teach your kids what is appropriate and inappropriate in relationships – what they should do and what they should neither do nor tolerate.  Confidentially pass along the LCCADV contact points if you see someone you think may need help.  And help us all make it clear that domestic violence, which once was simply an unfortunate way of life for some families and ignored by the rest of the world, is wrong, unacceptable and unbearable.

As a locally run non-profit, LCCADV operates primarily with government grants and United Way funding.  It is run by a local, volunteer Board of Directors and a small dedicated and experienced staff.  It depends on local donations, community support and volunteers, too.  Next week we’ll cover how the Amy’s Closet stores in Lincolnton and Denver are entirely dependent on the community’s donations, volunteers and customers, who work with us to Shop to Stop Domestic Violence.

Link to original story.