My ex-husband found out where I was living in hiding with our six-month-old son. He kicked in the door and beat me to unconsciousness. The friend he was with left the house to wait in the car after the first punch. When they heard the sirens, they fled.
One in 3 women and 1 in 4 men will experience Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) in their lifetimes. And in North Carolina, that means over 1.5 million women alone. Chances are you know someone who has been affected by this.
October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month. This was established to celebrate survivors, mourn those deceased and connect people to end the violence. .
Often, IPV and DV exists behind closed doors, in the shadows, or under a protective web of deceits. The key to prevention is to talk about it openly and without fear.
- Wear a purple ribbon to spur conversations about domestic violence and prevention.
- Educate yourself on commonly held myths about DV, and why they are wrong.
- Print and post these infographics offered at no charge by the CDC.
- Talk to the people in your life that you are close to. Provide information and a path to resource organizations like Victims Services or other domestic violence service agencies.
- One invaluable resource that was gifted to me, and many of the women I have met in my recovery process, was this Power & Control Wheel. In it, I was able to identify many of my abuser’s behaviors and come to see that I was not alone in this.
- Understand that, though you may see a problem, people may not make rational decisions while in a dangerous or confusing situation. You cannot let that deter you from offering support or understanding. Be there when and how they need you.
- Call 911 if you see or hear a violent encounter. Do not ignore it!
There were two other men there the day my ex-husband tried to kill me. His friend, and my neighbor. One chose to ignore it, the other stepped in and saved my life.
In 2013, there were 108 homicides related to domestic violence. That averages out to be around 2 per week. Many of these occurred when the victims were attempting to exit the relationship. The choices you make could affect these outcomes.
It took me many years to feel confident enough to share my story publicly. It is not always easy and, over a decade later, I still face moments of intense fear.
There is still much stigma and shame around falling victim to a batterer. DVAM seeks to change this- to promote survivor stories and offer support to those still in it.
If you, or someone you know, is living with domestic violence- reach out for help. You can access local service providers through the NC Coalition Against Domestic Violence, or call 1-888-997-9124.