How to Combat Domestic Violence as a Community
October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. It is estimated that nearly one-third of all women and approximately one in 12 men will have or will experience domestic violence. Even one person falling victim to intimate partner abuse is too many. There are ways that you can help combat domestic violence in your own community.
1. Familiarize Yourself with the Signs
If you have never experienced domestic violence, you may not be aware of the signs of this type of abuse. There are typically warning signs that a person is a victim. A victim may be financially controlled, frequently embarrassed by their partner, discouraged from spending time with friends and family, or prevented from holding a job.
2. Be a Listener
If a friend or family member tells you that they are being abused, listen. Never offer a judgment about the situation, but be a supportive confidant. Offer your assistance in helping the person escape their situation or seek professional help.
3. Be Ready
People in domestic violence situations may need to leave home at a moment’s notice. If you have offered your assistance, be ready. Keep your phone with you, and the ringtone turned on. Make sure that your vehicle is gassed up and understand where you will be meeting your loved one. Have a destination in mind or know the number to a shelter in your community.
4. Do the Legwork
A victim may not have the opportunity to research community resources. Be the person that does the legwork. Locate shelters, open a bank account and purchase a disposable cell phone for the victim. Whatever you can do to make their transition out of an abusive relationship easier, take on those tasks.
5. Raise Awareness
Local shelters are typically in need of volunteers or donations. Reach out to your local shelter to find out how you can help in your immediate community. You may be asked to spend some time volunteering at the shelter or to organize a donation drive. Let people know that you are an advocate for victims, and raise your voice in support. Whatever you are able to do to help, do it.
6. Write It Down
If a loved one is being victimized, write down the details of every incident you become aware of. This can be useful later if the abuser is arrested and charged with domestic violence or another crime.
7. Never Ignore What You See
It’s not unusual for police to hear from family members that they believed their loved one was being abused but didn’t want to get involved. Domestic violence is a personal issue only in that it is occurring in the home. The victim may have no one to support them but you. If you believe that a loved one is a victim, reach out, be a witness and advocate on their behalf.
If you have been the victim of domestic violence in DeKalb County, you have legal rights. Reach out to our experienced team of attorneys for assistance. We are here to help you find justice and start a new life after you escape your situation. Call today to schedule a free case evaluation.