By Angela Smith, Director of Domestic Violence Program of Schoharie County (Funded Partner: Catholic Charities Delaware, Otsego and Schoharie Counties)
October is National Domestic Violence Awareness month. Throughout the nation campaigns kicked off on October 1 to bring education and understanding to a devastating social problem.
Domestic violence is largely unreported issue and accurate statistics are difficult to obtain. In fact, according to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence “only 34% of people who are injured by intimate partners receive medical care for their injuries.” NCADV also states that “every 9 seconds in the US a woman is assaulted or beaten.” It is still, in 2015, very prevalent. However, domestic violence does not only happen to women. NCADV estimates that “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.” Children, the most vulnerable among us, often silently witness these atrocities within their homes, as it is estimated that “1 in 15 children are exposed to intimate partner violence each year, and 90% of these children are eyewitnesses to this violence.”
It is a fact that people who have experienced violence in the home go on to suffer PTSD and anxiety related disorders, sometimes for a lifetime. Long after the bruises and broken bones heal, the images of violence, and the hateful words spoken live on in the mind.
As the provider of domestic violence services in Schoharie County, Catholic Charities of Delaware, Otsego and Schoharie Counties will be holding several events throughout the month of October to raise awareness regarding domestic violence and the effects it has on our society. A list of events can be found here.
If you or someone you know has been abused and wants help and support you can reach the Domestic Violence Program of Schoharie County at Catholic Charities through the hotline at 234-2231. Counseling, advocacy, emergency assistance, shelter, transportation, safety planning, and referrals are available.
Catholic Charities serves on the Multi-Disciplinary Team for the CARRT (The Child at Risk Response Team) Center. The CARRT Center works to develop and promote approaches to prevent and stop child abuse in Schoharie County and provides a centralized, non-threatening, child-friendly setting where services can be coordinated for child victims of sexual abuse. The CARRT is comprised of many local agencies including law enforcement, human services organizations, health care, and school districts. Contact information can be found at: https://www.carrt.net/
Domestic violence is a topic that affects us all, whether we experience it directly or we know someone that has experienced it. Those directly affected by it need our understanding, compassion, and support.