Thursday, October 12, 2006

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month

I don't have to tell you this, but maybe I do. Violence in the family hurts and can kill. If you don't believe me go to I don't have to tell you this, but maybe I do. Violence in the family hurts and can kill. If you don't believe me go to THE FEMICIDE REPORT by the Minnesota Coalition for Battered Women or Silent Witness. And it leads to a cycle of violence. Some people want to say that the feminist make up these numbers and statistics to put men down, to make them look bad, and to raise their own cause. But that is not true, these stats come from Police departments, District attorney's offices and the Attorney General offices. Both genders are hurt by violence in the home. And women can and do abuse men, young men and boys. Men abuse men, young men, and boys. A home should not be such a scary place, it should be a safe place. But sadly in too many homes it is not. And more often than not if the victim tries to get out of the abusive situation or leave they are often killed. I have counseled men and women who were in abusive marriages, and abusive relationships. I have counseled children who were abused. I have counseled the abuser. It is hard work, but it can be treated. You don't have to abuse. You don't have to be abused. If you need help, there are people who will help. If you need a safe place there are safe places to go. I am no longer working as a professional counselor, but I would be willing to help and listen if someone needed that. You may also want to contact the police or a local domestic violence center or call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at (800) 799-SAFE.

According to Safe Youth; the other big concern these days is what is going on for our young people in their dating relationships.

  • 1 in 5 girls report being beaten or abused by a boyfriend by the time she graduates high school.
  • 40% of girls age 14 to 17 report knowing someone their age who has been hit or beaten by a boyfriend.

Know the early warning signs that you're in a dating situation or relationship that could have the potential to become violent.

  1. 1. Your boyfriend or girlfriend pressures you, soon after you begin dating, to make the relationship very serious, or presses you to have sex.
  2. Your boyfriend or girlfriend becomes extremely jealous and possessive, and thinks these destructive displays of emotion are signs of love.
  3. Your boyfriend or girlfriend tries to control you and to forcefully make all decisions where the two of you are concerned, refusing to take your views or desires seriously. He/she may also try to keep you from spending time with close friends or family.
  4. Your boyfriend or girlfriend verbally and emotionally abuses you by doing such things as yelling at you, swearing at you, manipulating you, spreading false and degrading rumors about you, and trying to make you feel guilty.
  5. Your boyfriend or girlfriend drinks too much or uses drugs and then later blames the alcohol and drugs for his/her behavior.
  6. Your boyfriend or girlfriend threatens physical violence.
  7. Your boyfriend or girlfriend has abused a previous boyfriend or girlfriend or accepts and defends the use of violence by others.

If you're in a dating relationship that in any way feels uncomfortable, awkward, tense or even frightening, trust your feelings and get out of it. It could become, or may already be, abusive.
Always remember: You have every right to say no. No boyfriend or girlfriend has the right to tell you what you can or should do, what you can or should wear, or what kind of friends you should have.

Don't let shame or fear stop you-talk to a parent, a teacher, a religious leader, a doctor, a nurse, or a guidance counselor immediately. You also can call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at (800) 799-SAFE, and they can direct you to individuals and groups in your community who can help you to make a change.

Check these places out:
National Domestic Violence Awareness Month, 2006 A Proclamation by the President of the United States of America
Ten Years of Saving Lives
The PCUSA has some good resources for worship and small groups
Silent Witness
The Clothesline Project
The Minnonite resources
Faith Trust Institute resources for churches
Churches Together worship resource

And if you like to spend some money, here are two places to spend your money which will go toward "Domestic Violence Awareness and Prevention" On October 17 you can spend your money at a Home Good Stores. And on October 19th you can spend your money at Marshalls. Now go shopping for a good cause.


John said...

One of my friends at seminary is a survivor of domestic violence currently undergoing a divorce. Because she is so open about telling people about it, especially in local churches, women have approached her for help. It's like there's a terrible secret sin going on in American marriage that just isn't talked about.

"imagine the darkness in love with the light." said...

thank you for posting this. it needs to be said more often.

revabi said...

John, I am sorry for your friend, it does even effect us clergy and spouses.

I am glad she is getting out of the dangerous marriage. God be with her.

And thanks for your comment imagine the darkness in love with the light. Yes we need to hear more than just once a month.