Domestic Violence Doesn’t Just Happen in October
In a few days, Domestic Violence Awareness Month will fade from the spotlight and another issue will take its place. October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, but if we want to build stronger communities, we have to spread the word about domestic violence all year long.
In Delray Beach, Stacy is now financially independent and safe. She has come a long way since she escaped a long-term abusive relationship and found support and counseling from Aid to Victims of Domestic Abuse (AVDA), a Town of Palm Beach United Way partner agency.
“I came to AVDA because I was being abused physically, emotionally and verbally. I had no job, I lost my apartment, no money, no help, and my hope began to fade away. It was frightening for me. All I would think is, why me, what have a done, it’s all my fault. Being a part of AVDA has allowed me to focus on my dreams and aspirations. There is always someone there for you. The tools they provided helped me to move ahead, and regain strength and determination to continue no matter what obstacle came along. “
Some 12 million people in America are victims of domestic violence each year. 1 in 4 women experience domestic violence in their lifetime. Some 3 million children witness domestic violence in their homes every year. And experts say there is a 30-60% chance that kids who witness domestic violence will be abused as well.
According to the National Domestic Violence Hotline, abuse is often unreported, frequently due to a victim’s fear or not knowing where to turn.
- It can happen to anyone, regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, or religion.
- It’s not just physical abuse. Domestic violence includes emotional, verbal, sexual, and/or financial abuse.
- There are many reasons victims stay in abusive relationships. What they need are resources and support to help them find their own paths to safety.
While the impact of domestic violence is staggering, talking about it – and supporting prevention efforts in our communities – helps empower victims. Organizations like AVDA provide a “Community of Hope” through their state-certified domestic violence center that offers a comprehensive array of services that include: a 24-hour crisis hotline, emergency and transitional housing, advocacy, counseling and support to help victims’ live violence-free and self-sufficient lives.
It is with the help of our donors that we are able to support great organizations in our community, like AVDA, that are making a difference in the lives of people right here in Palm Beach County.
To learn more about the organizations and programs the Town of Palm Beach United Way supports, please visit our website – www.palmbeachunitedway.org