October 2015

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month        
October is a great time of year!  The cooler, less humid weather is here, schools and Fall sports are in full swing, and Halloween excitement can be seen in our neighborhoods, theme parks, schools and offices.   However, for many in our community, October is a time to reflect on a different kind of scary: Domestic Violence.

First held in 1987 and conceived by the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, Domestic Violence Awareness Month is intended to connect advocates both nationally and locally who are working to end family violence.  According to the National Resource Center on Domestic Violence, "nearly 1 in 4 women and 1 in 7 men in the United States have suffered severe physical violence by an intimate partner" (http://www.nrcdv.org/dvam/DVAM-history).  Since 25% of women and 14% of men have experienced domestic violence, it is likely that you know a survivor - maybe a mom on your child's sports team or a young man standing in line with you at Starbucks.  It is sobering to realize that domestic violence affects women and men regardless of age, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation or zip-code.  

So what is "domestic violence"? It is best described as "a pattern of abusive behaviors-including physical, sexual, and psychological attacks as well as economic coercion-used by one intimate partner against another to gain, maintain, or regain power and control in the relationship" (http://www.nrcdv.org/dvam/about-dv).  Domestic violence often leaves physical wounds, but it can also result in invisible scars from verbal abuse, constant humiliation, or relentless intimidation.    

The good news is that domestic violence is preventable.  During the month of October, the Crisis Center of Tampa Bay along with the Spring of Tampa Bay and other organizations in our community are working to raise awareness about domestic violence. Last year, the Crisis Center of Tampa Bay averaged 456 calls each month from people who had been impacted by domestic violence.  Inside this month's newsletter, you can find information on crisis counseling for domestic violence survivors as well as other resources.  If you think that someone you know is a victim of domestic violence, please call 2-1-1.  We are here so no one in our community has to face a crisis - like domestic violence - alone.