Safe Harbor Family Crisis Center welcomed October as National Domestic Violence Awareness Month. One in four women and one in nine men will be the victim of domestic violence at some point in their lifetime, and on average, 20,000 phone calls are placed to national domestic violence hotlines a day, according to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence.
“Domestic violence is everywhere. There are likely people in your life who are experiencing it. It’s important to let these people know that while they don’t have control of another person’s violent behavior, they do have options on how to respond,” says Rebekah, a Court Advocate at Safe Harbor.
Societal barriers play a tremendous role in survivor’s ability to escape their abusive relationships. Whether it be the fear of homelessness, fear of losing custody of their children, isolation from friends and family, or doubt of the legal system, survivors of domestic violence face many challenges that impact their ability to leave. Domestic violence agencies exist to help survivors in navigating these barriers. The National Network to End Domestic Violence finds domestic violence agencies provide services to over 70,000 survivors in one day alone.
In 2022, Safe Harbor assisted 600 survivors of domestic violence in Knox County. Over half of adult clients reported physical violence as their primary presenting issue. Safe Harbor supports survivors through legal advocacy, group and individual counseling, economic assistance, emergency shelter and connections with local resources. More than three out of four domestic violence survivors who sought support groups, counseling, supportive services and legal advocacy found these services to be “very helpful,” the National Resource Center on Domestic Violence and the University of Connecticut School of Social Work reported.
“Not only in October, but all year round you can help by offering non-judgmental support to people in your life who may be experiencing domestic violence, and letting them know they are not alone,” says Rebekah.
In recognition of Domestic Violence Awareness Month, communities nationwide will mourn those whose lives were taken by domestic violence, celebrate the progress advocates have made to support survivors, and connect with one another with a true sense of unity to end domestic violence.
***Courtesy of the Safe Harbor Family Crisis Center***