OUR COMMON GROUND           with Janice Graham

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October is Domestic Violence Eradicate Violence One Change at a Time

OCTOBER is Domestic Violence AWARENESS MONTH

October is domestic violence awareness month, please change your profile picture to a purple ribbon to honor those who have lost their lives to DV, those who are still trapped and those who are recovering from DV.

Domestic Violence; It's EVERYBODY'S Business! Please join us in supporting Domestic Violence Awareness Month!


SAFETY ALERT


If you are in danger, please use a safer computer, or call 911, your local hotline, or the U.S. National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 and TTY 1-800-787-3224. See more technology safety tips here. There is always a computer trail, but you can leave this site quickly.
Domestic violence should not happen to anybody. Ever. Period. But it does - and when it does, there is help. Maybe you have lived with abuse, maybe it happened just once; maybe you work or live next to someone who is being abused right now. Whoever you are, this book can show you how and where to get help.

In 1994, 1995, and again in 2000, Michigan changed the laws that deal with domestic violence to make it easier for the victims of abuse to get protection through the legal system.


Remember two things: first, abuse is never okay; second, you are not alone. Help is yours for the asking.

If you know someone whom you think is being abused - a friend, family member, co-worker, client, patient or parishioner - please consider contacting local agencies to discuss ways to safely help them.

Abuse is never a one time event.

This chart below uses the wheel to show the relationship of physical abuse to other forms of abuse. Each part shows a way to control or gain power.


COMMON MYTHS
Domestic violence is not a problem in my community.

* Michigan State Police records from 1997 show that a woman is killed by a partner or former partner about once a week in Michigan.
* In 1998, the Michigan State Police reported more than 5,000 victims of domestic violence in Oakland County.

Domestic violence only happens to poor women and women of color.

* Domestic violence happens in all kinds of families and relationships. Persons of any class, culture, religion, sexual orientation, marital status, age, and sex can be victims or perpetrators of domestic violence.

Some people deserve to be hit.

* No one deserves to be abused. Period. The only person responsible for the abuse is the abuser.
* Physical violence, even among family members, is wrong and against the law.

Alcohol, drug abuse, stress, and mental illness cause domestic violence.

* Alcohol use, drug use, and stress do not cause domestic violence; they may go along with domestic violence, but they do not cause the violence. Abusers often say they use these excuses for their violence. (Michigan Judicial Institute, Domestic Violence Benchbook, 1998, p. 1.6 - 1.7)
* Generally, domestic violence happens when an abuser has learned and chooses to abuse. (Michigan Judicial Institute, Domestic Violence Benchbook, 1998, p. 1 - 5)
* Domestic violence is rarely caused by mental illness, but it is often used as an excuse for domestic violence. (Michigan Judicial Institute, Domestic Violence Benchbook, 1998, p. 1 - 8)

Domestic violence is a personal problem between a husband and a wife.

* Domestic violence affects everyone.
* About 1 in 3 American women have been physically or sexually abused by a husband or boyfriend at some point in their lives. (Commonwealth Fund, Health Concerns Across a Woman's Lifespan: the Commonwealth Fund 1998 Survey of Women's Health, 1999)
* In 1996, 30% of all female murder victims were killed by their husbands or boyfriends. (Federal Bureau of Investigation, 1997)
* 40% to 60% of men who abuse women also abuse children. (American Psychological Association, Violence and the Family, 1996)

If it were that bad, she would just leave.

* There are many reasons why women may not leave. Not leaving does not mean that the situation is okay or that the victim want to be abused.
* Leaving can be dangerous. The most dangerous time for a woman who is being abused is when she tries to leave. (United States Department of Justice, National Crime Victim Survey, 1995)

MANY VICTIMS DO LEAVE AND LEAD SUCCESSFUL, VIOLENCE FREE LIVES.

Remember My Name

The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV), in conjunction with Ms. Magazine, started the Remember My Name project in 1994 to create a national registry of names of those who have lost their lives to domestic violence. Since then, NCADV has continued to collect information on incidents of people who have been killed by an intimate partner and produces a poster each year for Domestic Violence Awareness Month listing the names of those submitted to the project. To date, over 7,753 people* have been memorialized through the project.

Names continue to be added daily.

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