October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, which we can acknowledge by wearing purple. Why purple? Well, in the United States military, the Purple Heart is presented to those who have been wounded while serving. For survivors of domestic violence, who may also be wounded both physically and emotionally, the color is meant to be a symbol of peace, courage, survival, honor and dedication to ending violence.
Domestic Violence Awareness Month was first observed in 1981 as a national day of unity. It was established by the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence to ensure that victims know help is available if they need it. Today, we have made considerable progress toward achieving this goal. However, there is still more work to be done.
Domestic abuse is defined as the behavior in which one person in a relationship establishes control over another person through violence, intimidation or the threat of violence. It can include physical abuse, emotional abuse, verbal abuse, sexual abuse, spiritual abuse, intimidation and other behaviors which maintain power and control.
If you are in an abusive relationship or know someone who is, the Domestic Abuse Intervention Center offers the following services free of charge and confidential:
- Domestic violence skills and knowledge advocacy;
- Offender services;
- Assistance with Orders of Protection and will attend court hearings with you;
- Temporary emergency shelter for victims of domestic violence who are in danger;
- Information and referral to other resources as needed.
You are not alone. You are not helpless. There is another way.
It’s not ok to abuse, and it’s not ok to be abused.