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October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month

The month of October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Launched in 1987, the campaign aims to promote a unified effort among domestic violence advocates and organizations and to raise awareness of the issues surrounding domestic violence. Over the past 30 years, much progress has been made to support domestic violence victims and survivors, hold abusers accountable, and create and update legislation to further those goals.

Every year there are over 1 million victims of domestic violence in America. The following statistics compiled by the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence illustrate some of the most important aspects of this issue:

  • Domestic violence is one of the most underreported crimes in America today and in the Jewish community. In fact, only about half of all domestic violence incidents are ever reported to police.
  • The majority of victims are women (90 percent), but men can be victims too—and often face shame or stigma when talking about it publicly or seeking help from law enforcement.
  • Children who witness domestic abuse are at risk for developing emotional problems such as anxiety or depression later in life; they may also suffer from poor physical health if they are exposed too frequently or over long periods of time.
  • Women between the ages of 18-24 experience the highest rates of domestic violence.
  • About 1 in 12 teens experience domestic violence, with those who identify as women and/or LGBTQ+ having the highest risk.

One of the things that makes domestic violence difficult to recognize, escape, and prevent is that it can take on many forms. Domestic violence, while most commonly thought of as physical or sexual, can also be technological, psychological, emotional, financial, and verbal. It’s important to learn what domestic violence can look like so you can recognize it and prevent it from happening to yourself and those you care about.

To learn more about domestic violence, the signs to look for, and how to get help, visit shalomtaskforce.org.

If you are experiencing domestic violence or need advice about a potentially harmful relationship, call the Confidential Hotline to discuss any issues about relationships or domestic abuse. We provide a listening ear to all. Our referrals help our callers gain access to helpful resources, including legal assistance, counseling, and safe shelters. For more information and to speak with a trained advocate, please visit shalomtaskforce.org or wcspittsburgh.org.

Confidential Hotline: 888.883.2323 (Call. Text. WhatsApp.)

If you’re between the ages of 12-22 and need advice about a relationship or domestic violence, you can chat with a therapist right now at upstreetpgh.org. (*This is not an emergency hotline.)