Domestic​ ​violence:​ ​a serious issue that takes many forms

Domestic​ ​violence​ ​is​ ​a​ ​universal​ ​phenomenon​ ​and one that is — or should be — a topic of conversation in all cultures.

Victims​ ​of​ ​domestic​ ​violence​ ​are heavily​ ​encouraged​ ​to​ ​report​ ​their​ ​abuse​ ​and​ ​seek​ ​help​ ​from​ ​a​ ​myriad​ ​of​ ​resources​ ​designed​ ​to aid​  ​victims​ ​in​ ​recovering,​ ​as​ ​well​ ​as​ ​coping​ ​from​ ​abuse.​

​Although​ ​domestic​ ​violence​ ​can​ ​be largely​ ​described​ ​as​ ​a​ ​household​ ​term,​ ​it​ ​happens​ ​to​ ​be​ ​quite​ ​nuanced​ ​in​ ​its​ ​meaning.​ ​In​ ​an​ ​effort to​ ​promote​ ​clarity,​ ​domestic​ ​violence​ ​can​ ​be​ ​defined​ ​as​ ​acts​ ​“of​ ​violence​ ​or​ ​abuse​ ​against​ ​a person​ ​living​ ​in​ ​one’s​ ​household,​ ​especially​ ​a​ ​member​ ​of​ ​one’s​ ​immediate​ ​family.”​ ​

Acts​ ​of violence​ ​or​ ​abuse​ ​can​ ​manifest​ ​in​ ​a​ ​variety​ ​of​ ​ways​ ​ranging​ ​from​ ​rape,​ ​homicide,​ ​stalking​ ​and​ ​a negative​ ​state​ ​of​ ​mental​ ​health.

The​ ​phenomenon​ ​of​ ​domestic​ ​violence​ ​is​ ​one​ ​that​ ​often​ ​goes​ ​unnoticed,​ with ​the​ ​victim suffering ​in​ ​silence​ ​often​ ​due​ ​to​ ​a​ ​fear​ ​of​ ​being​ ​ridiculed​ ​or​ ​excluded​ ​due​ ​to​ ​the​ ​complex​ ​nature​ ​of the​ ​nuclear​ ​family,​ ​as​ ​well​ ​as​ ​families​ ​in​ ​general.​ ​

Due​ ​to​ ​the​ ​implicitly​ ​surreptitious​ ​nature​ ​of domestic​ ​violence,​ ​the​ ​National​ ​Coalition​ ​Against​ ​Domestic​ ​Violence​ ​established​ ​the​ ​“Day​ ​of Unity”.​ ​The​ ​“Day​ ​of​ ​Unity”​ ​was​ ​held​ ​in​ ​October ​1981​ ​and​ ​intended​ ​to​ ​diminish​ ​violence​ ​against women​ ​as​ ​well​ ​as​ ​children.​ ​This​ ​event​ ​gave​ ​rise​ ​to​ ​Domestic​ ​Violence​ ​Awareness​ ​month​ ​held annually​ ​within​ ​the​ ​month​ ​of​ ​October.​

In 1989,​ ​the​ ​U.S.​ ​Congress​ ​passed​ ​a​ ​law assigning​ ​October​ ​as​ ​National​ ​Domestic​ ​Violence​ ​Awareness​ ​Month.

Domestic​ ​violence​ ​happens​ ​to​ ​share​ ​the​ ​same​ ​month​ ​with​ ​the​ ​Breast​ ​Cancer​ ​Awareness ​and​ ​subsequently​ ​finds​ ​itself​ ​privy​ ​to​ ​misconceptions​ ​that​ ​marginalize​ ​male​ ​victims.

Although​ ​women​ ​are​ ​widely​ ​understood​ ​to​ ​be​ ​victims​ ​of​ ​domestic​ ​violence,​ ​men​ ​also​ ​happen​ ​to be​ ​effected.​ ​In​ ​fact,​ ​according​ ​to​ ​the​ ​National​ ​Coalition​ ​Against​ ​Domestic​ ​Violence’s​ ​website,​ ​“1 in​ ​3​ ​women​ ​and​ ​1​ ​in​ ​4​ ​men​ ​have​ ​been​ ​victims​ ​of​ ​[some​ ​form​ ​of]​ ​physical​ ​violence​ ​by​ ​an​ ​intimate partner​ ​within​ ​their​ ​lifetime”.

Having​ ​an​ ​understanding​ ​that​ ​a​ ​population​ ​of​ ​men​ ​undergo​ ​domestic​ ​abuse​ ​is​ ​vital​ ​in combating​ ​it​ ​and​ ​identifying​ ​the​ ​warning​ ​signs.​

​Warning​ ​signs​ ​range​ ​from​ ​embarrassing​ ​the victim​ ​to​ ​intimidating​ ​the​ ​victim​ ​via​ ​guns,​ ​knives ​and​ ​other​ ​dangerous​ ​weapons.​

​Approximately 20​ ​individuals​ ​experience ​domestic​ ​violence​ ​per​ ​minute​ ​which​ ​amounts​ ​to​ ​roughly​ 10 million​ ​individuals​ ​per​ ​year, according to The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV).

Such​ ​statistics​ ​make​ ​it​ ​necessary​ ​to​ ​spread​ ​awareness​ ​towards​ ​this epidemic​ ​as​ ​it​ ​is​ ​a​ ​silent​ ​killer.

The​ ​detrimental​ ​effects​ ​of​ ​domestic​ ​violence​ ​are​ ​striking​ ​and​ ​traces​ ​of​ ​such​ ​abuse​ ​can manifest​ ​within​ ​an​ ​individual’s​ ​life​ ​in​ ​greater​ ​and/or​ ​lesser​ ​degrees.​ ​

For​ ​this​ ​reason,​ ​initiatives such​ ​as​ ​the​ ​NCADV ​are​ ​vital​ ​in​ ​allowing​ ​communities​ ​to understand​ ​what​ ​domestic​ ​violence​ ​is,​ ​as​ ​well​ ​as​ ​its​ ​nature​ ​in​ ​an​ ​effort​ ​to​ ​combat​ ​it​ ​through​ ​the power​ ​of​ ​knowledge​ ​and​ ​understanding.​ ​

Epidemics​ ​that​ ​go​ ​unnoticed​ ​are​ ​likely​ ​to​ ​affect​ ​the​ ​vast majority​ ​of​ ​populations​ ​as​ ​they​ ​often​ ​go​ ​untreated.​

​In​ ​the​ ​same​ ​respect,​ ​Domestic​ ​Violence Awareness​ ​Month​ ​is​ ​central​ ​in​ ​allowing​ ​for​ ​the​ ​treatment​ ​of​ ​domestic​ ​violence,​ ​one​ ​person​ ​at​ ​a time.