How to Prevent Domestic Violence
Approximately seven million children witness acts of domestic violence every year. http://www.safepass.org/index.php/want-info/children-and-domestic-violence
This statistic is for North America alone. In homes where domestic violence is present there is little hope, no safety, and a daily struggle for one’s simplest existence. Leaving relationships where there is domestic violence is no easy task just ask full time domestic violence advocate Andrea Martinez who fled an abusive ten year relationship. Leaving and the recovery that followed was an insurmountable task that Andrea conquered. She is still recovering from the alarming pain. In recovery from her own experience Andrea decided to help other women who are living with domestic violence by starting the first Purple Light Campaign in Denver a few years ago with the support of Latina Safehouse. October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month. In celebration Andrea decided to have homes put a purple light in the front porch light of their home. She is hoping to flood the city with these encouraging purple lights. She has two goals; to raise awareness of domestic violence and bring hope to women who have not left their abuser yet. There is a lot of work to be done in Denver around domestic violence prevention. Domestic violence is built on silence. Let’s start talking in Denver about domestic violence, it is time for a change. October is still a few months away, it is never too early to celebrate Domestic Violence Awareness Month. https://tinyurl.com/ycxkyvtj
If you would like to support Andrea and her worthy Purple light project contact: Latina Safehouse @ 303-433-4470 for a purple light.
If you are living with domestic violence or know someone who is help is available now:
*Denver Safehouse SafeHouse Denver Domestic Violence Services 303-318-9989
*Gateway Battered Women’s Shelter http://www.gatewayshelter.org/
*To find shelter’s nationwide contact and many domestic violence resources: Domestic Shelters.org https://www.domesticshelters.org/
If you are looking for ways to support someone that you know who is living with domestic violence or if you are in this situation yourself these are some ways to on how to prevent domestic violence:
*Men can not abuse women that they do not see everyday. This is obvious but it is good to repeat. When you move out it will be much more challenging for your abuser to violate you everyday. Location is key. Distancing yourself from the abuser by moving or staying with friends for a while will give you a reprieve. This tip will not give you a reprieve if you tell the abuser where you are staying. He needs to not be able to find you.
*Documenting abuse that is happening or has happened can go a long way to stopping the abuse. If there are physical marks left from the abuser be sure to document this and save the photos in a place where the abuser can not find them. Send them to a trusted friend if you have one. But be careful who you trust. This will go a long way to help you if you ever press charges.
*Seek counseling from a trained domestic violence counselor. This is a backend solution to help stop domestic violence. It will not immediately stop the abuse. But if you can find some clarity and a place to have your thoughts heard you are getting close to understanding how to prevent domestic violence. Having someone to bounce ideas off of as to what is normal spousal behavior is nothing short of amazing. This tip can get the ball rolling for you to see the abuse as it is. Abuse. And it will prevent further domestic violence. This issue is not his problem solving style, it is not the kids being a pain, money issues, you not keeping the house clean enough or not making the right thing for dinner. It is much more simple. It is abuse. With this information where does one go next? Hopefully a seed is planted to begin planning your escape. A trained therapist can be a lifeline. Many domestic violence shelters offer this service for free.
*Diversion is always a great tip. Your partner comes home after a long day. He is not in the house more than 8 minutes before you can tell he is about to blow. If you are alone, say, “I forgot something at Safeway for dinner.” Then exit as quickly as possible and do not speak any other words. If you do he could pull you into his raging anger. If you have kids discuss with them some weeks prior that you may come to them and say, “We need to leave now.” Explain to them what this means and why. If you have kids take them WITH YOU or you are leaving them as sitting ducks. I would keep spare shoes and masks in the car so that if you had to pick one of them up and just leave you could. This will not solve your problem, but it will buy you time. Some abusers just need time alone to decompress and they can return to center. Others not. It is always helpful to remember what your problem is? No, you are not a bad wife. You are living with an abuser. Always keep this in the front of your mind. This will not change when he gets a raise or your teenage daughter stops going through one of her moods. You live with an abuser, for now. No apologies, no covering up for him, no denial. Look at things as they are, when you can accept this there is a great deal of freedom just waiting for you to enjoy. This is the first step to freedom! Congratulations. When you need a mental refresher on how to prevent domestic violence re-read this article.
Julie Federico has written a children’s book for those living with domestic violence. She also speaks to groups about how to prevent domestic violence. You can order Anger is OKAY Violence is NOT at: www.juliefederico.com
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