Domestic Violence Awareness Month: Recognize, Report, Prevent It by Alina Lopez
October is a month full of activities and awareness campaigns. From Breast Cancer Awareness to Red Ribbon Week (Say No to Drugs), the calendar is packed with initiatives to bring light to various issues. One other such movement is the Domestic Violence Awareness.
Defined by Florida Statute 741.30 as “any assault, aggravated assault, battery, aggravate battery, stalking, aggravated stalking, kidnapping, false imprisonment, or any criminal offense resulting in physical injury or death of one family or household member by another who is or was residing in the same single dwelling unit.” Even though domestic violence affects women more than men, any one of any age or gender can be a victim of this type of violence.
Some examples of domestic violence can be:
- Extreme jealousy
- Name-calling and insults
- Physical harm or threats to harm partner, children, or pets
- Sexual assault
- Controlling behavior
- Crazy making and gaslighting, which makes a person question their own sanity
There have been some recent studies that point to a rise in domestic abuse cases due to the pandemic and the lockdowns. The extra stress during the COVID19 pandemic along with the loss of income in some cases, has exacerbated the epidemic of intimate partner violence.
If you’re experiencing domestic violence, know it’s not your fault. No one deserves to be abused. Talk to someone about the situation. Document all the abuse with pictures or keep record of the abuse if you can. There are hotlines you can call to speak with individuals trained to advise victims and offer strategies based on local laws. There are also local women’s shelters you can turn to if seeked. Leaving an abusive relationship is easier said than done, in fact, leaving an abuser is the most dangerous time for a victim, but again, there are resources available to make the transition as smooth as possible. If you do plan to leave, have a strategy for yourself and children.
As always, call 911 if there’s immediate danger. You can also contact the Florida Domestic Violence 24-Hour Crisis Hotline at 1-800-500-1119 or the Miami-Dade County Coordinated Victims Assistance Center at 305-285-5900 (call/text message 24/7).
To reach our office, contact 305-470-1670 or visit our website www.citizenscrimewatch.org.
Until next time, be aware, make good choices, and stay safe!
Written by: Alina Lopez