October is most commonly associated with Autumn and Halloween. We would, however, like to draw your attention to something much more important – Domestic Violence Awareness Month. October was first declared as National Domestic Violence Awareness Month in 1989. Since then, October has been a time to acknowledge domestic violence survivors and be a voice for its victims.
What is domestic violence?
Most people are familiar with what domestic violence is. However, there is a misconception that it is always physical, and as a matter of fact, this isn’t true. Domestic abuse is not confined solely to physical acts of violence and takes place in many forms, such as financial abuse, threats, sexual abuse, and psychological abuse.
Who can experience it?
According to the national domestic violence hotline, women aged 18 to 24 and 25 to 34 generally experience the highest rates of intimate partner violence. However, anyone can be a victim of domestic violence regardless of age, background, gender, religion, sexuality, or ethnicity. Although some people may not experience it directly, it can still have an impact on their day-to-day life. Experiencing negativity and violence from parents in a domestic violence relationship, for example, can harm a child’s mental health and well-being.
What effects can domestic violence have on individuals?
The effects of domestic violence can be deeply traumatic. An individual can experience ongoing anxiety and depression, emotional distress, eating and sleeping disturbances, and physical symptoms, such as headaches and stomach aches.
Not only this, but it can also have a negative impact on your day-to-day life. You might not turn up to work, or you might lose touch with close friends and family members. All of this is a result of enduring physical, mental, and emotional abuse from the abuser. It is never the fault of the person who is experiencing it.
Do you need help?
If it’s not an emergency or you don’t want to call the police, please contact the National Domestic Abuse Helpline (run by Refuge) on 0808 2000 247. Refuge is available 24 hours a day, and your call will be kept in confidence.