Annie Lindgren, written for North Forty News
On October 1, 2020, Governor Jared Polis signed a proclamation that October is Domestic Violence Awareness month. The document shares the following statistics regarding the prevalence of Domestic Violence.
One in four women (24.3%) and one in seven men (13.8%) aged 18 and older in the United States have been victims of severe physical violence by an intimate partner in their lifetime.
In Colorado, 32.7% of women and 28.6% of men experience intimate partner physical violence, intimate partner sexual violence, or intimate partner stalking in their lives.
In up to 60% of the cases, males who batter their wives also batter children in the household.
Studies indicate that intimate partner violence occurs in 25% of LGBTQ+ relationships, a rate similar to heterosexual relationships.
One in four dating teens is abused or harassed online or through texts by their intimate partners, an occurrence termed ‘tech abuse’.
Forty-three percent of dating college women report experiencing violent and abusive dating behaviors, including physical, sexual, tech, verbal, or controlling abuse.
Victims of intimate partner violence lose nearly 8 million days of paid work each year. Women killed at their workplaces are more likely to be killed by an intimate partner.
Sixty-five percent of Unites States workplaces surveyed do not have a formal program or policy that addresses workplace domestic violence.
Calls to the National Domestic Violence Hotline have increased 9% during the COVID-19 pandemic-with callers citing COVID-19 as a complicating factor. The current pandemic is known to create unique barriers to accessing services for those at risk of intimate partner violence.
Racism, homophobia, transphobia, ageism, and discrimination based on physical ability, nationality, or other factors help perpetuate domestic violence and make finding safety even more difficult for some victims.
The proclamation finishes with a call to action. We must join together as a state with local communities, service providers, and workplaces to send a clear message that domestic violence is not tolerated in Colorado. We must ensure support is available for domestic violence victims and their children and commit to increasing public awareness of intimate partner abuse.
There are resources available for those who need help getting out of an abusive situation. Services include shelters, legal assistance, advocacy, education, therapeutic support, clothing, and much more. Below is a list of national and local resources.
National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-SAFE
Loveland, CO 80537
Crisis Line after hrs: 970-880-1000
Fort Collins, CO
Crisis: 970.482.3502 *
Crisis (Toll Free): 888.541.7233 *
Estes Park, CO
After Hours 970.586.4000 *
Denver, CO – statewide
* = Services provided in English/español
For services in other areas parts of Colorado, visit Violence Free Colorado: https://www.violencefreecolorado.org/find-help/programs-by-county/
Domestic violence is a pattern of behaviors used by one person to maintain power and control over a current or former intimate partner.
Psychology Today shares signs that a relationship is abusive or may become abusive:
- Isolating you from friends and family
- Chronic criticism, even for the small things
- Veiled or overt threats against you or them
- Making acceptance/caring/attraction conditional
- An overactive scorecard, keeping track of every time something is done for the other
- Using guilt as a tool
- Creating a debt that makes leaving harder, like giving gifts or spending money, setting expectations of serious commitment early on.
- Spying, snooping or requiring constant disclosure.
- Overactive jealousy, accusations, or paranoia.
- Not respecting your need for time alone.
- Making you ‘earn’ trust or other good treatment.
- Presuming you’re guilty until proven innocent.
- Getting you so tired of arguing that you’ll relent.
- Making you feel belittled for long-held beliefs.
- Making you feel you don’t ‘measure up’ or are unworthy of them.
- Teasing or ridicule that has an uncomfortable undercurrent.
- Sexual interactions that feel upsetting afterward.
- Inability or unwillingness to ever hear your point of view.
- Pressuring you toward unhealthy behaviors, like substance abuse.
- Thwarting your professional or educational goals by making you doubt yourself.
For more information on the above, visit: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/friendship-20/201506/20-signs-your-partner-is-controlling
Abusive relationships can happen to anyone. Abusive people ease their power and control over time and are good at breaking down their victims. Feelings of confusion, fear, or anger are normal responses and often make a victim feel isolated or like no one will understand.
Domestic violence can be painful and draining, physically, mentally, emotionally, and financially. It is hard watching abuse happen to those we care about. It impacts everyone involved. Friends and family eventually distance themselves. Children learn behaviors that repeat the cycles. Getting out of an abusive relationship, especially ones where children are involved, is complicated and challenging. Safety and resources are often barriers.
The good news is that there is help. Therapy and groups can provide victims and perpetrators the insight and tools they need to have a better life free of power and control. If the victim needs help getting out, the organizations listed in this article can provide the housing and resources needed to get out for good.
It is on each of us to take steps in our daily interactions that will end and prevent future abusive behavior.
Originally featured in October edition of North Forty News: https://northfortynews.com/category/health-and-wellness/october-is-domestic-violence-awareness-month/