Domestic Violence Awareness Month
by Christina Hays
Every October we celebrate Domestic Violence Awareness Month (DVAM). Throughout the month, we share information regarding domestic violence and encourage everyone to share their experiences and stories. Writing letters of hope and healing to survivors at a local DV shelter, posting encouraging thoughts on social media using #DVAM2020, or attending a webinar regarding domestic violence facts are just a few ways to get involved during DVAM.
One of the most important things we can do during DVAM is highlight myths and facts surrounding domestic violence. The following are the top five myths and facts from a list compiled by the Alabama Coalition Against Domestic Violence (ACADV):
Myth 1: Domestic violence does not affect many people.
Fact: It is the single most common source of injury to survivors, more common than automobile accidents, muggings, and rape by a stranger combined.
Myth 2: The violence is temporary. Battering is only a momentary loss of temper.
Fact: Battering is the establishment of control and fear in a relationship through acts of violence and other forms of abuse. The batterer uses a series of behaviors, including physical force, verbal threats and psychological abuse to coerce and control the other person.
Myth 3: Domestic violence only occurs in poor, urban areas.Fact: No state, no city, no community and no neighborhood are immune from domestic violence. Perpetrators and victims come from all races, religions, cultures, age groups and socioeconomic levels.
Myth 4: Domestic violence is just a push, slap or punch – it does not produce serious injuries.
Fact: Domestic violence can lead to fatalities. A large portion of rapes, physical assaults and ongoing abuse cases committed against women by intimate partners result in injury and the need for medical care.
Myth 5: If an abusive relationship gets bad enough, the victim will leave.
Fact: Many survivors do not want the relationship to end; they want the violence to end. Factors like financial, religious, cultural and family pressures and/or fear of court or police involvement may keep a survivor in the relationship. The survivor may have tried to leave and the abuser threatened to harm the survivor more if they leave.
For more myths and facts please visit www.acadv.org and click on the common myths and facts button.
Crisis Services of North Alabama is hosting several virtual events to help everyone keep informed and to participate in DVAM 2020. CSNA’s YouTube channel will be streaming lecture videos on domestic violence as well as posting videos on the CSNA website. You can watch along by visiting www.csna.org, https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC0MNflG72plmXzneLuAwRiw/, or https://www.facebook.com/CrisisServicesofNorthAlabama/.
The Jackson County Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Crisis Services of North Alabama will be hosting a virtual candlelight vigil on October 20th at 6 p.m. via Facebook. For more information about the vigil please visit the Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Jackson-County-Coalition-Against-Domestic-Violence-200194547082998.
If you would like to get involved with DVAM 2020 in Jackson County please contact us locally at 256.574.5826.
If you or someone you know has been affected by intimate partner violence, please contact us. You do not have to face this alone. We have crisis counselors available 24 hours a day and 7 days a week on our HELPline at 256.716.1000.