Domestic Violence Awareness Month
Published 2:42 pm Friday, October 23, 2009
According to the National Network to End Domestic Violence, children are particularly vulnerable as both victims and witnesses to domestic violence. In order to break the cycle of violence, we must intervene and provide services to all members of the household.
Domestic violence shelters and programs, such as those offered at Steps to HOPE, provide children with a safe and caring atmosphere where they are able to process their trauma and begin to heal. Childrens services also help support the parents as they deal with their experience of abuse and begin to rebuild the family in an environment free from violence. Every year approximately 15 million children in the United States are exposed to domestic violence.
According to a large study, men who were exposed to physical abuse, sexual abuse, and adult domestic violence as children are almost 4 times more likely than other men to commit acts of domestic violence as adults.
Children who are exposed to violence are more likely than other children to attempt suicide, abuse drugs and alcohol, run away from home, engage in teenage prostitution, and commit sexual assault crimes.
Communities must demonstrate to our children an intolerance for any form of domestic violence. Albert Schweitzer said: Example is not the main thing in influencing others. It is the only thing.