Domestic violence is a pattern of behavior in any relationship that is used to gain or maintain power over an intimate partner. The abuse may be physical, sexual, emotional, economic or psychological.
A serious public health problem, 1 in 4 women and 1 in 10 men have experienced contact sexual violence, physical violence or stalking by an intimate partner during their lifetime. There is a clear physical and mental impact on victims and survivors, as studies suggest there is a relationship between intimate partner violence, depression and suicidal behavior.
Anyone can be an abuser and anyone can be abused. The issue is widespread among heterosexuals as well as within the LGBTQ community. For example, according to the Human Rights Campaign Foundation, within the LGBTQ community, transgender people and bisexual women face the most alarming rates of sexual violence. Among these populations, sexual violence begins early, often during childhood.
Frequently, young people share stories with our Crisis Services team of emotional, physical and sexual abuse. Some youth report experiencing dating violence, which can impair a young person’s ability to discern the difference between healthy and unhealthy relationships. The NRS team listens without judgement, helps to develop a plan to address the abuse and connects the young person to essential resources.
October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. This milestone was first recognized nationwide in October 1987 as a way to connect and unite individuals and organizations working on domestic violence issues while also raising awareness for these issues. Over the past 30+ years, much progress has been made to support domestic violence victims and survivors, to hold abusers accountable and to create and update legislation to further those goals.
We encourage people to learn about domestic violence, including how to recognize the warning signs of an abuser and ways to help victims before a crisis happens. More information can be found through the resources listed below.
SUPPORTIVE AND EDUCATIONAL RESOURCES
love is respect – A project of the National Domestic Violence Hotline, love is respect offers 24/7 information, support and advocacy to young people between the ages of 13 and 26 who have questions or concerns about their romantic relationships. The organization also provides support to concerned friends and family members, teachers, counselors and service providers through the same free and confidential services via phone, text and live chat. The love is respect toll-free hotline is available at 1-866-331-9474, or text “LoveIs” to 22522. Online chat: loveisrespect.org.
National Domestic Violence Hotline – Created in 1996, this 24-hour hotline is available 365 days a year to provide tools and support to help survivors of domestic violence so they can live free of abuse. The organization’s mission is to answer the call to support and shift power back to those affected by relationship abuse. Contact The Hotline at 1-800-799-7233, or text “START” to 88788.
National Resource Center on Domestic Violence – For more than 25 years, the National Resource Center on Domestic Violence (NRCDV) has been a comprehensive source of information for those wanting to educate themselves and help others on the many issues related to domestic violence. Through its key initiatives and special projects, NRCDV works to improve community response to domestic violence and, ultimately, prevent its occurrence. Their technical assistance, training and resource development are examples of the many ways in which NRCDV serves those dedicated to ending domestic violence in relationships and communities. For information, call 1-800-537-2238 or email nrcdvTA@nrcdv.org.
Safe Horizon – Safe Horizon is the nation’s leading victim assistance organization, operating a network of programs across New York City communities and systems. They work with survivors of all forms of violence, including racism, to move from crisis to confidence. Contact Safe Horizon at 1-800-621-HOPE (4673). Their 24-hour hotline can accommodate English and Spanish-speaking individuals.
If you or someone you know is affected by domestic violence, either as the perpetrator or the victim, the National Runaway Safeline (NRS) can help. Each year, NRS connects thousands of young people with critical resources and provides non-directive, non-judgmental support. Call or chat anytime, 24/7. You are not alone.