The first Domestic Violence Awareness Month was observed in October 1987. During that same year, the first national domestic violence toll-free hotline was initiated. Although we need to be aware and fight against domestic violence all year long, I want to highlight a few things today.
Domestic violence can be defined as a pattern of behavior in any relationship that is used to gain or maintain power and control over an intimate partner. Abuse presents itself in many forms such as physical, sexual, emotional, economic, and psychological. Domestic violence can occur with people of every gender, race, religion, socioeconomic status, age, sexual orientation, and education level.
If you are in an abusive relationship, know that there is help and you are not alone in your struggle. The National Domestic Violence Hotline (1-800-799-SAFE) provides advocates 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to assist victims, or anyone calling on their behalf, with crisis intervention, safety planning and local referrals. The website, www.thehotline.org, offers a plethora of information for victims and anyone who suspects their loved one may be in an abusive relationship. Another great resource is the book by Lundy Bancroft titled Why Does He Do That? Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men.
Below is the piece I wrote that was published in last year's The Purple Poetry Book in recognition of Domestic Violence Awareness Month. My hope is that you will all be safe.