As October is ushered in, SOS is eager to promote Domestic Violence Awareness Month. This month, we are celebrating the stories of survivors and remembering the victims. Domestic violence plagues the lives of many, is manifested in a number of ways and does not discriminate based on demographics or socioeconomic status.
In 2010, 10.1 percent of Kansas adult females reported domestic violence victimization. In other words, approximately 106,400 Kansas women, moms, sisters, aunts, nieces and friends, suffered from a form of domestic abuse. Unfortunately, we know not all cases are reported, thus meaning many people suffer silently.
Why do victims not report abuse? Because of fear and the lack of knowledge as to what domestic violence can entail. Domestic violence is not only defined by physical violence; it is about control and power. It can manifest through: physical and sexual violence, coercion and threats, emotional abuse, isolation, using children to manipulate, economic abuse, male entitlement and minimizing or blaming. Most people don’t understand the scope of domestic violence and therefore, are unaware of its prevalence. Let’s raise awareness to prevent future suffering.
Raising awareness is the best way you can help. Abuse doesn’t discriminate and people across any class, race, lifestyle and religious lines are at risk. Most importantly, if you or anyone you know is a victim of domestic violence, call the SOS 24-hour helpline, 620-342-1870 or 1-800-825-1295.
SOS Community Relations Director