The results of a survey conducted in California in October, 2012, during Domestic Abuse Awareness Month, indicates that 98% of residence now believe that domestic abuse can happen to anyone. This is the first time of which I am aware that people are recognizing that abuse does cross all demographic lines and is not just limited to what has been referred to in the past as THOSE people. This news is extremely beneficial for everyone.
With the understanding and expanded awareness
Remember, if you suspect something is wrong, it most likely is. By doing something to find the answers that are needed, you may save another person’s life.about domestic abuse across the general population, more victims are feeling less embarrassed and ashamed than they have felt in the past when it comes to seeking help. More organizations are seeing increased numbers seeking assistance in dealing with such situations. But, the largest group of victims still remains when it comes to those who are living their lives in absolute fear of their abusers.
I do believe that social media is making a difference in educating everyone about the scope and magnitude of the abuse that exists in our society. You can find many stories on a daily basis about abuse reports, murders, violent attacks, sexual abuse, bullying, etc. This visibility has raised awareness overall and has started conversations that may not have otherwise occurred. With this expanded knowledge and information, it is hoped that more people will start to become more aware of situations that are close to their own homes and lives that may be showing signs of the existence of abuse. Where in the past, someone may have accepted some flimsy excuse for bruising on the body or altered behavior of someone else, it is hoped that with better knowledge, more people will think about these answers and keep a better eye on situations such as this to see if further observation may reveal a bigger problem. Awareness is the first step in getting help for someone else.
If you believe that anyone you know is being abused, you must decide what will work for you on a personal basis in responding. It can be extremely difficult to know what to do but you do know that you must do something. If you wish to stay removed from involvement, you can always contact the Domestic Violence Hotline at 1−800−799−SAFE(7233) for help and direction. You can always contact the appropriate local authorities and make a report. You can talk to your personal clergy person or the clergy of the person that you believe is being abused. And you can always seek the help of your own medical professionals or those of the other person for help with the situation.
Doing nothing should never be an option. You should always be able to seek and receive the guidance that you need in order to know how best to respond. If the first source that you seek does not feel acceptable to you, move on to another source and continue to do so until you receive the information that is right for you. Remember, if you suspect something is wrong, it most likely is. By doing something to find the answers that are needed, you may save another person’s life. If that same person was having a medical problem, wouldn’t you seek a second or third opinion in order to save that person’s life? And if that person who is being abused is you, please seek help to get out of that situation.
No one should ever have to live a life of abuse and fear day after day. I know! I’ve been there and the day that I left I knew that regardless of what happened, there would never be such a thing as a “bad” day in my life ever again. You, or someone you know, deserves the same.
If you or anyone you know is a victim of domestic abuse, you can seek help through the National Domestic Violence Hotline – 800-799-SAFE (7233) – 1.800.787.3224 (TTY).
Barbara Jacoby is an award winning blogger that has contributed her writings to multiple online publications that have touched readers worldwide.