Thursday, October 4, 2018

Domestic Violence Awareness Month

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. 

In October, there are many agencies who work to promote awareness about domestic violence. This is critical to shine light on an issue that otherwise hides behind closed doors. But why do we have a domestic violence awareness month? Why is this important? 

Here's why. Because:

  • Domestic violence thrives on silence. Speaking out helps shatter that power
  • Despite the statistics of 1 in 4 women and 1 in 7 men being victims of domestic violence in their lifetime we keep thinking "Not my problem."
  • People still don’t know what to do when domestic violence happens to them or someone they love
  • We still aren't doing enough to prevent domestic violence before it occurs
  • We have yet to see a culture shift from “why doesn’t the victim leave?” to the appropriate question of “why does the perpetrator abuse?”
  • We still don’t protect all victims of domestic violence equally in North Carolina
  • LGBTQ victims of domestic violence don’t have the same legal access to protections as heterosexual victims
  • Immigrant victims of domestic violence don’t feel safe in coming forward even when they are being beaten in their homes
  • There are too many barriers for victims to navigate the court system
  • Victims are still blamed for not protecting themselves, not protecting their children, or not doing it soon enough

Here's what you can commit to do in October and beyond: 

  • Educate yourself about the causes of domestic and other forms of violence, and how to work to prevent them: Prevent Violence NC 
  • Do your part to foster economic opportunity and employment stability by 1)  employing someone with a criminal record and 2) not taking any adverse employment action against a victim such as firing or demoting simply for being a victim of domestic violence
  • If a friend or family member is experiencing domestic violence, learn what you can do:   Help a Friend or Family Member
  • Know how to connect survivors to resources: 
    • List of DV crisis agencies by county 
    • Kiran: Statewide non-profit that serves and empowers South Asian victims of DV
    • Equality NC: Statewide non-profit which can help to connect LGBTQ survivors to local LGBTQ-centered services. 
    • El Pueblo: Statewide non-profit which can help connect Latinx community to services. 
  • National Network to End Domestic Violence: Learn more about domestic violence, technology abuse, and resources for survivors.

If you or someone you love has immediate questions and would like to talk to an attorney about both legal and non-legal options, you can contact Amily for a free consultation at 919-457-1954 or amily@scharfflawfirm.com 

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