HUDSON VALLEY –– Domestic violence is often thought about in terms of physical violence, but controlling behavior and other abusive tactics often begin long before any physical violence …
HUDSON VALLEY –– Domestic violence is often thought about in terms of physical violence, but controlling behavior and other abusive tactics often begin long before any physical violence occurs.
Domestic violence includes physical abuse, sexual abuse, psychological abuse, emotional abuse, financial abuse, and other coercive tactics of control. As a society, we all have a role in changing the narrative about what domestic violence is, to whom it happens, how we can support those who are experiencing it and ultimately prevent it entirely.
Domestic violence is not a private family matter. This archaic belief only further empowers the abuser and continues to isolate victims from support and services.
One in three women will be a victim of domestic or sexual violence at some point in their lifetime, and each day an average of three women die at the hands of someone who claimed to love them.
Everyone knows someone who is a victim, and that also means that everyone knows someone who has been abusive.
Abusers are highly skilled at operating one way in the public eye and another way within their relationship. It is a very effective tactic of control. We need to realize this is purposeful on the part of the abuser and is done to ensure that if the victim ever shares what they are experiencing, they may not be believed.
We can change this. We must change this. We will change this.
We start by believing victims, recognizing the courage, strength, and risk the victim may have taken to share their experience with us. We can know where to send a victim for support and services. We can learn that leaving does not guarantee the abuse will stop. This is the most dangerous time for victims, and leaving is not an option all victims have.
We can understand that victims who may be able to leave are then forced to navigate systems that are not truly designed for victims, nor do these systems fully understand the dynamics of domestic violence.
Leaving an abuser is not an event but a process. It can take a victim on average seven times before they may be free from their abuser.
How can you help? Ensure your schools, businesses, local faith groups, government, and communities’ partner with Fearless! to receive training and education. Consider volunteering. Make a donation. Your donation can help change the lives of survivors of domestic violence. Consider staying engaged throughout the year to show your support.
You can also show your support for victims and survivors by following our social media accounts @fearlesshv and sharing the content we’ve already prepared with your own networks throughout October and the year with the hashtags #Every1KnowsSome1 and #fearlesshv. To learn more about Fearless! and how you can help, please go to fearlesshv.org.
If you or someone you know is being abused, free and confidential help is available 24/7, Fearless! Hudson Valley, Inc. (845) 562-5340.
Abuse Can Happen To Anyone. Fearless! Is Here To Help.
Kellyann Kostyal-Larrier is the Executive Director of Fearless! Hudson Valley.
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