October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Did you know that one in every four women will experience domestic violence in her lifetime? Even though I had heard that fact before, it really hit home recently when I heard it in a room with 40 other women at a MOPS meeting. I am part of that statistic. Which of the women around me had experienced domestic violence, or continue to face it? Did the three out of four realize how lucky they are?
Often when we think of domestic violence, we think of battery; but domestic violence encompasses much more than physical violence. Per the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV), “Abuse generally falls into one or more of the following categories: physical battering, sexual assault and emotional or psychological abuse, and generally escalates over a period of time.”
The pain and fear left by emotional and psychological abuse and harassment is very real. Its victims may not be left with physical bruises, but the psychological effects are deep.
If you or someone you know is facing domestic violence, there is help. The NCADV has a hotline that offers anonymous and confidential help 24 hours per day, 7 days per week.