Marines

Domestic violence: awareness equals prevention

27 Oct 2009 | Marine Cpl. Jessica L. Martinez

October reigns with many topics highlighting the nation’s awareness. Yet as the month draws to an end, the awareness for topics such as domestic violence shouldn’t end, but should carry on daily.  

Domestic violence affects many lives from all ages, races and genders. It destroys the home, turning it from a safe environment to one of fear, hopelessness and desperation. The impact it has doesn’t only affect the victim, it also affects those who surround them such as the wife, husband and children.

There are different forms of domestic violence. These forms of abuse include emotional, psychological, physical and sexual.

President Barack Obama stated in his Domestic Violence Awareness Proclamation this month, “Victims of violence often suffer in silence, not knowing where to turn, with little or no guidance and support. Sadly, this tragedy does not just affect adults. Even when children are not directly injured by violence, exposure to violence in the home can contribute to behavioral, social, and emotional problems. High school students who report having experienced physical violence in a dating relationship are more likely to use drugs and alcohol, are at greater risk of suicide, and may carry patterns of abuse into future relationships. Our efforts to address domestic violence must include these young victims.”

The Domestic Violence Resource Center Web site states one in four women experience domestic violence in their lifetime and that nearly three out of four Americans personally know someone who has been affected by domestic violence. On average, more than three women and one man are murdered by their intimate partners in this country every day. Studies show that 3.3 to 10 million children witness some form of domestic violence annually.

President Obama continued to say “it is important that we as Americans should break the cycle of violence. Together, we must ensure that, in America, no victim of domestic violence ever struggles alone.”

For more information about domestic violence awareness or where to turn to for help call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE, or visit the Domestic Violence Resource Center at http://www.dvrc-or.org/domestic/violence/resources/C61/.

For help on base and in the local community, call the Onslow Women’s Center at 347-4000, or the Community Counseling Center at 451-2864 or visit www.mssclejeune.com.