October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. October is the time of year where the air is crisp, the leaves are changing into brilliant colors and we sense a renewed pace in our lives.
October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Domestic is defined as "pertaining to the home." The home is where we retreat from the world for safety, security and sanctuary. But not all homes are this way. Some homes in our community are weighted with fear and uneasiness.
There are homes where women feel anxiety, foreboding and terror, and abusers struggle with their own pain and anxiety about life. However, abusers choose to act out their pain in aggression toward their families. In the same homes are children who sense this fear and foreboding and witness incidents of abuse.
October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Violence can mean putdowns, name calling, emotional abuse, controlling behavior, pushing, slapping, hitting, strangling, stabbing, shooting or rape.
October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Awareness is being alert, awake, perceptive or mindful. Are we alert to the people in our lives who may be in an abusive situation? This could be our sisters, mothers or daughters. They may hide or minimize the physical abuse, be isolated, or you might even see fear in their eyes.
We may have coworkers who have irregular attendance, have a difficult time concentrating, or have intimate partners calling them excessively at work or even showing up unexpectedly at their jobs.
We may have jobs where we come in contact with victims of domestic violence as patients, clients, customers or patrons.
How can we be more perceptive to the violence and ask the questions about what is really going on? We must to be more alert and more courageous in asking and talking about domestic violence, because if we don’t, more children learn this behavior, accept it, and the pattern continues.
We must let victims of abuse know that we care about their safety and urge them to call the statewide domestic violence hot line (800-33-HAVEN) for help. In Hall County, advocates at Gateway are available to help 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You can reach Gateway at 770-536-5860.
October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. So this October, with our awareness crisp like the air, will we make a commitment to a renewed pace in addressing domestic violence?
Kris Jones is Chairwoman of the Northeastern Judicial Circuit Domestic Violence Task Force.