October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month

October 1, 2019

Did you know that 24 people per minute are victims of some form of domestic violence? That equates to more than 12 million individuals per year. 


Yes, those numbers are staggering -- and yes, they are very real. According to the National Domestic Violence Hotline, 1 in 4 women and 1 in 7 men aged 18 and older in the U.S. have been the victim of severe physical violence by an intimate partner.  Additionally, the Hotline reported that nearly 10 percent of high school students report being hit, slapped or physically injured on purpose by their significant other. 


The violence can happen at home, work or school. In fact, nearly 35 percent of women killed in U.S. workplaces between 2003-2008 were killed by a current or former intimate partner. 


So you may be thinking, "What can I do?" or "How can I help?" There are many things we can do to help prevent domestic violence in our own communities.  


It starts with knowing the signs. Domestic violence is not prejudice -- it can happen to anyone. There are various warning signs to be on the look out for, but here are just a few.

  • Being jealous of their partner's friends or any time spent with someone else
  • Embarrassing, shaming or guilting
  • Controlling finances
  • Intentionally damaging belongings
  • Violence toward animals
  • Threatening violence to gain compliance 


If you see something, say something. It's better to report a violent situation than to not get involved at all. You could potentially be saving someone's life. Don't ignore domestic violence. 


Be there. Sometimes a listening ear is all it takes to make a difference. Make sure to leave all judgement out of the conversation. Believe what they are saying to you and let them know that you are available to help. Discuss a possible escape plan or meeting place if they should ever need you. It might also be wise to research local shelters and keep resources handy. Most importantly, always check in with your loved one to ensure they are safe.


Know where to turn for professional help. At Clearwater Counseling, PC, our therapists are trained to work with individuals who have experienced trauma or violence. We are readily available with the appropriate resources to help victims through their current situations. To schedule an appointment with one of our therapists,  please call 308-210-8487 or email [email protected] 


For more information on finding a path to safety, visit www.thehotline.org/help/path-to-safety/. 


*If you or someone you know is in immediate danger, please call 911 right away. 

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