Dear Priscilla Bennett Friends,
October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. It provides an opportunity to shed light on the domestic violence issue and work towards ways of preventing it. Domestic Violence Awareness Month originated from the Day of Unity, first held in October 1981 and created by the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence. The Day of Unity became a week focused on three main themes: mourning those who have died due to domestic violence, celebrating and honoring survivors, and building a community of those working to put an end to domestic violence. The first Domestic Violence Awareness Month was observed in 1987, with Congress officially passing the Public Law 101-112 two years later.
Millions of people are affected by domestic violence. The Domestic Violence Awareness Project explains 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 to gain, maintain or regain power and control in the relationship. Batterers use a range of tactics to frighten, terrorize, manipulate, hurt, humiliate, blame, injure and sometimes kill a current or former intimate partner.”
In the United States, there are more than 10 million victims of abuse every year. An average of 20 people experience physical violence from their partner every minute, according to the NCADV.
In 2014, the Huffington Post reported that 10 million children are affected by domestic violence on an annual basis.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that about 1 in 4 women and 1 in 7 men have experienced physical violence by an intimate partner within their lifetime.
Women between the ages of 18 and 24 are most commonly affected by intimate partner violence, according to the NCADV.
There are many ways we can help raise awareness for domestic violence, support survivors and find ways to end domestic violence.
Help to educate others on domestic violence and the warning signs to recognize it.
Listen to survivors’ stories and assist them in finding ways in which they can receive help, such as hotlines and local shelters.
Speak out against domestic violence and support organizations that are empowering survivors and helping to end domestic violence.
In my novel SOMETHING TO BE BRAVE FOR, Katie experiences psychological, emotional, financial and physical abuse from her husband, Claude, until she begins to see that she can’t change him and has to organize a plan to get out.
Take good care of yourselves,
PRISCILLA BENNETT XOXO