Domestic Violence Awareness Month

By: Erica Khan

October is recognized as Domestic Violence Awareness Month. The "day of unity" was the inspiration behind the birth of this awareness month in 1981. In 1987, six years later, it was designated as DV Awareness Month. Its goal is to raise awareness and empower survivors while uniting activists, leaders, and others. It can also provide a voice for victims by encouraging those experiencing violence to speak up in a safe and encouraging environment. Due to the fact that anyone can become a victim of domestic violence, it is crucial to talk about this issue during this month. It affects everyone, regardless of age, social class, sexual orientation, gender, or race, and it applies to every community.

It's crucial to understand what abusive relationships look like so that neither you nor the people you care about end up in one. After reading six separate accounts of different women who resided in Louisiana and were involved in violent relationships for many years, I saw that these relationships shared a lot of the same characteristics. After being with their abusive partner for some time, almost all of these women didn't realize they were being abused. They claimed that while they were with their partners, it was challenging to view their relationship from an outside perspective. In the majority of instances, it required a wake-up call for these women to recognize the abuse they were experiencing. What I found was that in most of these cases, they first experienced verbal and emotional abuse before any level of physical conflict. Their partners would degrade them over their flaws, causing them to question their self-worth and lose self-confidence. Their partners would also often embarrass them in public, showing no respect for these women. It is worth noting that most of the women also had children, allowing for the abuse they were experiencing to have an effect on their children’s development. Having them witness the abuse their parent was experiencing would often lead to long-lasting negative effects on their emotional well-being and social/academic functioning.

In many of the cases of these women, the emotional torture would eventually give way to physical abuse. “Look what you made me do,” or, “if you hadn't done that, this wouldn't have occurred.” These were frequent abusers' accusations as they attempted to justify the physical attacks they put on their partners. Because these abusive partners intended to deprive these women of their power and make them question their own worth, the abusers would physically harm them in order to make them feel as if they, the abusers, had greater control over them. 

 

The cases of these women are not singular. Although no abusive experience is the same, these concepts and signs are often present. In order to identify whether you or someone you know is in an abusive relationship, it is crucial that you are aware of domestic violence and its warning signals. If you have experienced anything like what is detailed in this piece, think of someone you trust and please speak up so you can prevent it from getting worse and get the necessary health. There is no reason for abuse to continue.

Image Citations:

(1) CBS8

(2) Interval House