Did you know that 1 in 4 women experience domestic violence in her lifetime?* An estimated 1.3 million women are victims of physical assault by an intimate partner each year. This means we all know many, many women who are part of this statistic. The effects of witnessing domestic violence as a child ripple through adulthood. Boys who witness domestic violence are twice as likely to abuse their own partners and children when they become adults. What can we do to prevent the perpetuation of this destructive behavior?
Victims of such abuse can easily become disempowered and isolated. Finding the strength and courage to remove oneself from a scary situation can seem impossible when doing it alone. When we hear of a friend or an acquaintance in such a situation, we all have the choice to either help them find safety or look the other way. We each get to choose how much of our own energy we want to put into helping others. From offering a listening ear, to dialing the hotline number, or to bringing them into your home, there’s a lot we can each do to provide necessary support for the millions in need. So, who would you like to be today: The ignorant bystander or the timely hero?
*Source of statistics: National Coalition Against Domestic Violence0