Domestic violence is an issue that affects us all. It goes on within all ethnic groups, socio-economic sectors, religions, and cultures. It is common to blame domestic violence on external factors, like alcohol abuse or financial troubles, or on emotion, like anger to the point of losing one’s temper. Rather, it is an act or series of actions chosen by an abuser in order to control a partner’s behavior.
Both women and men can be victims of abuse. More than 1 in 3 women and more than 1 in 4 men in the U.S. have experienced rape, physical violence, and/or stalking by an intimate partner in their lifetime, according to the National Domestic Violence Hotline (www.thehotline.org).
Knowing how to respond can save lives. Provide victims with the Hotline number, 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) or TTY 1-800-787-3224, so they can call for help from anywhere in the nation. The hotline is available to victims or concerned friends and family members 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
This message is adapted from “Break the Silence of Domestic Violence” written by Havilah L. Tower-Perkins in the October 2004 issue of Lutheran Woman Today (now Gather) magazine.