Domestic Violence Awareness Month 2020
October 21st, 2020
October is “Domestic Violence Awareness Month,” but while the month comes to a close, the important work to end domestic violence in our communities persists. Millions of people from all backgrounds are affected by domestic violence everyday. At all levels, in every family and partnership, in every instance; domestic violence breaks apart our communities.
Many of us are leading the charge to end its path; addressing systems of power and supporting families and individuals during their journey of healing from trauma.
The Oregon Coalition Against Domestic Violence & Sexual Violence (OCADSV) “promotes equity and social change in order to end violence for all communities. [They] seek to transform society by engaging diverse voices, supporting the self-determination of survivors and providing leadership for advocacy efforts.” The theme for this year’s month of awareness is: “Believe in Community – We Heal Together.” This extensive list of resources provides a thorough look into how we, as a community, can better understand, advocate for, and support survivors of domestic violence.
Homelessness and Domestic Violence
It is widely recognized that domestic violence is one of the leading causes of homelessness for women and children. The traumas of domestic violence and housing insecurity are tightly intertwined. A report by the ACLU breaks down the cyclical pattern between poverty, domestic violence, and homelessness and states that, “Poverty limits women’s choices and makes it harder for them to escape violent relationships.” Here in Portland, 59% of women counted during the 2019 Point-in-Time count reported having experienced domestic violence, more than a 4% increase from 2017.
“Children who have either directly experienced or been witness to domestic violence have a higher likelihood of developing life altering emotional scars and mental health problems. While this is a definite possibility, it is also true that children and adult survivors of domestic violence can be incredibly resilient, especially when they receive the types of therapeutic emotional and mental health services we provide. We support parents, collaborating with them as they take the lead in helping their children heal from trauma and strengthening their own family.”
-Steffannie Roache, Clinical Supervisor, Parent-Child Therapeutic Services Program
Impact NW knows that the (non-abusive) parent-child relationship is critical to healthy family development. Our Parent-Child Therapeutic Services work to reduce the negative effects of domestic violence on children by strengthening the parent-child relationship. Our specialists work closely with families to repair the effects of stress and trauma from domestic violence and heal relationships between children and their safe parent. Our role is to support the survivor and their family/child(ren) throughout the healing process and provide resources/tools to help navigate the journey to a stable and healthy life in their own home.
What to Do if you are experiencing domestic violence:
- If you are in an abusive relationship and need immediate assistance, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at (800) 799-SAFE.
- If you feel you have been discriminated against in housing because you are have experienced domestic violence, call the ACLU Women’s Rights Project at (212) 549-2644 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- To learn more about laws and policies that can protect domestic violence victims’ housing rights, call the ACLU Women’s Rights Project at (212) 549-2644 or email email@example.com.