“Between 600,000 and 6 million women are victims of domestic violence each year, and between 100,000 and 6 million men” –National Institute of Justice
Are you a victim of domestic violence? Better yet is someone you know a victim of domestic violence? According to the Allstate Foundation National Poll on Domestic Violence “Nearly three out of four (74%) of Americans personally know someone who is or has been a victim of domestic violence.” If you are apart of that percentile, know that you are/were a very significant piece to the equation. Why you ask, because you are a source of escape and security. A few words encouraging that person that there is a life outside of the issue, reporting the issue even if the person may disagree, and sometimes stepping in physically (this is not referring to creating violence) to cease the issue if need be, is just what a victim needs. More than often one will not leave, report, or step up for them; the assistance of a loved one or friend is what they need in order to become one step closer to being secure.
Victims of domestic violence don’t usually act on the issue due to embarrassment, fear, and/or they wish to protect their abuser. “Only 70% of nonfatal partner violence is reported to law enforcement. Of those not reporting, 41% of male and 27% of female victims (34% average) stated victimization being a private/personal matter as reason for not reporting, 15% of women feared reprisal, 12% of all victims wished to protect the offender, and 6% of all victims believed police would do nothing.” (Bureau of Justice Statistics, Intimate Partner Violence in the U.S.) With such a low rate of action being taken place, you, whether a loved one or friend should step up. Offer your space to him/her, counsel her/him, suggest professional counseling, or help them come up with a plan to escape. If in need, financially assist them, and most significantly listen.
Above is just a few means of assisting domestic violence victims. The action does not stop there, it is important to do everything in your power to help them escape to security. No woman nor man (or child for that matter) deserves to go through such an awful and disgraceful situation. So remember step up, take action, and be that resource!
Words By: Shamari Maryland
For more on Domestic Violence and Abuse checkout this article