October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month

Jessica Robinson

While October brings awareness to breast cancer, it is also a month that brings awareness to domestic violence.

Purple ribbons are appearing in various locations, bringing awareness to the issue.

C.A.R.E.S., an advocacy group that provides help to victims of domestic violence, is known for holding a candlelight vigil in October. Due to COVID-19, there will be no vigil in 2021, but the group is still bringing awareness to issue.

The National Resource Center on Domestic Violence 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.”

According to national statistics, on average, nearly 20 people per minute are physically abused by an intimate partner in the United States. This equates to more than 10 million women and men. On a typical day, there are more than 20,000 phone calls placed to domestic violence hotlines nationwide.

In those statistics, one in four women and one in nine men experience severe intimate partner physical violence, intimate partner physical violence, intimate partner contact sexual violence, and/or intimate partner stalking.

Intimate partner violence accounts for 15 percent of all violent crime and 19 percent of domestic violence involves a weapon.

Statistics state that 72 percent of all murder-suicides involve an intimate partner and 94 percent of the victims are female.

Domestic violence has economic impacts. Statistics report victims of intimate partner violence lose a total of 8 million days of paid work each day and the cost exceeding $8.3 billion per year.

Along with economic impacts come physical/mental impacts. Studies suggest there is a relationship between intimate partner violence, depression and suicidal behavior. Statistics state victims of domestic violence are also at higher risk for developing addictions to alcohol, tobacco or drugs.

CARES provides services to victims with advocates being on call 24 hours a day. CARES can be contacted at 307-568-3334.