October is Dating and Domestic Violence Awareness Month. The Rape, Abuse, Incest, National Network (RAINN) defines dating and domestic violence as “any act, attempt, or threat of force by a family member or intimate partner against another family member.”
Some behavioral signs of a battereer are intimidation such as smashing property, displaying weapons, threats about making and/or carrying out threats on the victim, isolation (controling what the victim does, sees, reads, and limiting who the victim talks to), and emotional abuse (putting the victim down, name calling).
Someone who is a victim of dating or domestic violence might show waring signs which include: inconsistent explanations (about the cause of injuries), alcohol abuse, and injuries in multiple stages of healing (different color bruises that range from purple, to green, to yellow).
According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV), 1 in every 4 women will experience domestic violence in her lifetime. About 1.3 million women are victims of physical assault each year by an intimate partner. Young boys who witness domestic violence are twice as likely to abuse their partners and children when they become adults.
According to the NCADV, in Pennsylvania in 2006, 64 women and five children were killed as a result of domestic violence. In 2005, 39,371 protection from abuse orders were filed in Pennsylvania.
If you or someone you know is a victim of dating or domestic violence, call one of the following numbers:
National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-SAFE
National Sexual Assault Hotline: 1-800-656-HOPE
Domestic Violence Center of Chester County: (610) 431-1430 or 1-888-711-6270.
In response to these staggering numbers, the Women’s Center Club (WCC) held a Sykes After Dark event entitled the WCC’s Semi-Sleepover on Oct. 17 in the Sykes Multicultural Center. At this event, the WCC collected donations for the women and children of the Domestic Violence Center of Chester County.
The WCC will be continuing this project throughout the rest of the semester. If you wish to donate, drop donations off in the Women’s Center which is located in room 220 of Lawrence Hall.
Donations include sanitary napkins, laundry detergent, hair products, deodorant, soft hand soap, and general cleaning supplies. For a complete list of donations, e-mail email@example.com.
The Women’s Center Club meets on Monday nights at 6 p.m. in room 220 of Lawrence Hall. The Women’s Center is a safe space for all students as well as a resource for educating the campus on women related issues.
Cate DeSalvio is a third-year student majoring in health and physical education. She is the president of the Women’s Center Club. Cate can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.