Shine the Light On Domestic Violence

October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month. For me, this topic is personal. My next blog post will tell my story of surviving an abusive relationship.

“Shine the Light on Domestic Violence” is a campaign coordinated by The New York State Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence (OPDV). The campaign seeks to get everyone talking about “purple” as a way to discuss domestic violence. Purple is the symbolic color for domestic violence awareness. Each year, New Yorkers are asked to wear purple on one day. This year, that day is Thursday, October 19th.

What is Domestic Violence? Domestic violence is one person’s use of a variety of tactics to control another person in an intimate relationship. Does your partner:
• Hit, punch, slap, kick, shove or bite you?
• Threaten to hurt you or your children?
• Abuse or threaten to harm pets?
• Have sudden outbursts of anger or rage?
• Become jealous without reason?
• Isolate you from family or friends?
• Prevent you from going where you want, when you want?
• Interfere with your job or going to school?
• Destroy personal property?
• Deny you access to bank accounts, credit cards or car?
• Control all finances?
• Force you to have sex or do things that make you uncomfortable?
• Insult you or call you names?
• Follow you or spy on you?
• Humiliate you in front of others?
If you answered yes to one or more of the above, you might be abused. You are not alone. (Source: Brochure, The New York State Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence)

Anyone can be affected by domestic or intimate partner violence. Women, children and men have lost their lives to intimate partner violence. Men who suffer relationship violence can find themselves shamed, isolated, and disbelieved. One of my favorite columnists, Ronnie Polaneczky of the Philadelphia Daily News , wrote a great article in 2014 about male survivors of domestic violence, titled “Unmanly Hurt.”

Join the “Shine the Light on Domestic Violence” campaign during the month of October. Don’t live in New York but want to participate in shining the light on domestic violence in your state? Visit the National Resource Center on Domestic Violencewebsite for information on what events are taking place in your state.

If you are in an abusive relationship and want assistance, call The National Domestic Violence Hotline. Since 1996, the National Domestic Violence Hotline has been the vital link of safety for women, men, children and families affected by domestic violence. Calls can be made 24/7, 365 days a year.

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