October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month – DVAM

October is nationally recognized as Domestic Violence Awareness Month. The SAFE Alliance joins organizations around the country in spreading the word that domestic violence not only happens in virtually every community, but is a preventable public health crises.

Why it matters

Considering nearly 1 in 4 women and 1 in 7 men experience violence from an intimate partner in their lifetime and a World Health Organization report found as much as 38 percent of worldwide murders of women are committed by an intimate partner, the prevalence of domestic violence is cause for alarm

The SAFE Alliance is committed to putting an end to all forms of abuse, including domestic violence, through prevention, intervention, and advocacy for change. Throughout the month of October, we promote community events and share stories, information, and statistics in the media, online, and through face-to-face conversations.

Domestic violence facts

Local stats

According to the Texas Department of Public Safety, in 2015:

  • 194,872 family violence incidents were reported in Texas, a 4.9% increase from 2014
  • 8,119 incidents were reported in Travis County alone
  • 7,384 incidents were reported in Austin
  • 206 Texas law officers were assaulted while responding to family violence incidents

Domestic violence and health

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, examples of health conditions associated with intimate partner violence include:

  • Asthma
  • Circulatory conditions
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Gynecological disorders
  • Sexually transmitted infections, including HIV/AIDS
  • Unintended pregnancy
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Suicidal behavior in females

Local DVAM events

Check out local events on the DVAM2016 calendar.

#DVAM – Light Up the Night

Join us for the second annual Unity Day Celebration at 6-9 p.m. Oct. 3 on the hillside at The Long Center for the Performing Arts. There will be live music from Grace London and Zoe Czarnecki of Misimplicity, words from Austin’s Police Chief Art Acevedo, and a live cycling demonstration by LOVE Cycling Studio.

#DVAM – The Laurie Wright Stand Up Paddle Parade

The sixth annual Lauri Wright Stand Up for Safe Families Paddle Parade is from 5:30 to 7:30 Oct. 5 at Lady Bird Lake.

#DVAM – City Hall proclaims October ‘Domestic Violence Awareness Month’

Austin City Council will proclaim October as Domestic Violence Awareness Month! Join us at 5:30-6:30 p.m. Oct. 6 in City Hall to show your support for domestic violence survivors.

#DVAM — No More! No Más!

The third annual No More No Más bilingual Domestic Violence Awareness Month Event is 2-4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 15 at SafePlace.

SAFE’s role in stopping DV

The SAFE mission: To lead in ending sexual assault and exploitation, child abuse and domestic violence through prevention, intervention and advocacy for change.

In addition to counseling, advocacy, and education services, SafePlace in 2015 provided:

  • Shelter for 626 adults and children
  • 35,537 shelter bed nights

If you need help and are in a safe space to make a phone call, our 24/7 Hotline is confidential, potentially anonymous, and available for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault: 512.267.SAFE (7233)

What is domestic violence?

The United States Department of Justice defines domestic violence as: “a pattern of abusive behavior in any relationship that is used by one partner to gain or maintain power and control over another intimate partner. Domestic violence can be physical, sexual, emotional, economic, or psychological actions or threats of actions that influence another person. This includes any behaviors that intimidate, manipulate, humiliate, isolate, frighten, terrorize, coerce, threaten, blame, hurt, injure, or wound someone.”

Physical Abuse

Hitting, slapping, shoving, grabbing, pinching, biting, and hair pulling are just some examples of physical abuse. This type of abuse also includes denying a partner medical care and forcing alcohol and/or drug use. 

Sexual Abuse

Coercing or attempting to coerce any sexual contact or behavior without consent. Sexual abuse includes, but is certainly not limited to, marital rape, attacks on sexual parts of the body, forcing sex after physical violence has occurred, or treating one in a sexually demeaning manner. 

Emotional Abuse

Undermining an individual’s sense of self-worth and/or self-esteem is abusive. This may include, but is not limited to constant criticism, diminishing one’s abilities, name calling, or damaging a partner’s relationship with their children. 

Economic Abuse

Is defined as making or attempting to make an individual financially dependent by maintaining total control over financial resources, withholding one’s access to money, or forbidding one’s attendance at school or employment. 

Psychological Abuse

Elements of psychological abuse include — but are not limited to — causing fear by intimidation; threatening physical harm to self, partner, children, or partner’s family or friends; destruction of property; harming pets; and forcing isolation from family, friends, or school and/or work. 

How to stay up to date during DVAM

Follow us on social media! We’ll be updating you on community events along with facts, stats, and information throughout the month of October.

Use the hashtags #DVAM and #TxDVAM to show your support for survivors this month!

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