Valdosta Daily Times

What We Think

October 9, 2013

Breaking the thread of domestic violence

VALDOSTA — October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and encouraging women to get the help they need against abusers is the first step towards curbing the thread of violence that repeats from one generation to the next.

The statistics are sobering. One in every four women will experience domestic violence in her lifetime. More than 1.3 million women are victims of physical assault by an intimate partner every year. Witnessing violence in the home is the strongest risk factor of transmitting violent behavior from one generation to the next. Almost one third of female homicide victims are killed by an intimate partner.

And the statistics get worse. Less than one fifth of victims with injuries seek medical treatment. Between 30 and 60 percent of those who commit physical violence in the home also abuse children in the home. More than 80 percent of women stalked by a current or former partner are also physically assaulted by that partner. There are 16,800 homicides each year due to intimate partner violence.

The need for assistance for domestic violence is growing, and fortunately, the Haven in Valdosta has been able to build a new shelter to accommodate that growing need. Not all communities are as fortunate, and in many rural areas, churches or relatives are the only places of refuge for victims.

To women who are caught in this situation, the only way to stop the cycle of violence is by seeking the help you need. Go to the police, a counselor, a pastor, or a friend, and seek shelter at the Haven.

You aren’t being brave by continuing to be a victim. You are only teaching your children that it’s OK to commit acts of violence against loved ones. You are only exposing your children to be the next victims. Get help today. Call (229) 244-1765; or 1-800-33HAVEN, or 334-2836.

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