Friday, May 8, 2009

Tomorrow is Domestic Violence Awareness Day.

Saturday, May 9, is Domestic Violence Awareness Day.

Domestic Abuse should not happen. Ever. Sadly though, it happens. A lot. What is Domestic Violence? Domestic violence is behavior - emotional, psychological, physical, or sexual abuse - that one person in an intimate relationship uses in order to control the other. Domestic Violence is about the age-old POWER issue. Some people feel entitled to control others, and will use force, should that person not obey. Although men are more likely to be victims of violent crime overall, a recent study by the U.S. Department of Justice reports that "intimate partner violence is primarily a crime against women."2 Of those victimized by an intimate partner, 85% are women and 15% are men.2 In other words, women are 5 to 8 times more likely than men to be victimized by an intimate partner.3 

It takes many different forms and includes behavior such as threats, name-calling, isolation, withholding of money, actual or threatened physical harm and sexual assault. Most domestic violence is committed against women by their male partners. It also occurs in lesbian and gay relationships and is common in teenage dating relationships. In a small number of cases, men are abused by female partners, but because 91 to 95 percent of all adult domestic violence assaults are perpetrated by men against their female partners, this booklet will refer to victims as female and abusers as male. In any case, every victim of domestic violence, whether female or male, gay or heterosexual, has the right to legal relief.

Sadly, my mother comes from an absuive background, growing up and in relationships. And I have friends who have experienced it, as well. Women always say that they wouldn't put up with someone abusing them, but a lot end up doing just that. Yet, there are some who do get out at the first signs.  And it's not just timid women that stay, there have been plenty of strong women that have stayed. Why do some stay and some leave? It's a fascinating phenomena that really puzzles the hell out of me. However, many do stay because they have no other options, or at least, that is how they see it.

Have you ever seen The Burning Bed with Farrah Fawcett? That movie made a serious statement towards Domestic Violence: chances are high that someone is bound to end up dead. As that movie shows, it's not always the victim. Some people loose effin mind - crack, so to speak - and kill their abuser. Of course, many abusers kill their victims also. Either way, the loss is stupid and preventable.


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