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Domestic violence infects community

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Editorial: Oct. 18, 2012

ISSUE: Domestic Violence Month
OUR VIEW: Be aware and responsive 

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month and unfortunately the problem doesn’t seem to be going away.

One in four women has experienced some form of domestic violence in their life. The numbers range from 960,000 incidents up to 3 million women who report physical abuse by their husband or boyfriend per year. This issue is not limited to female victims. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, more than 100,000 men also are abused physically each year by a wife or girlfriend.

Many reasons are used to justify staying in abusive relationships. In reality, experts consider it a progressive problem and like a fatal disease, it will never cure itself.

Perhaps it starts with an argument over finances that escalates into screaming. That first red flag is a signal to deal with the underlying anger issues. If ignored to keep the peace and avoid confrontation, the next disagreement typically ends with slightly elevated aggressiveness. Eventually, the issue progresses to physical abuse and bodily harm.

Domestic violence is one of the most underreported crimes each year. According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, approximately one-fourth of all physical assaults, one-fifth of all rapes and one-half of all stalkings perpetrated against women and girls by intimate partners are reported to the police.

The primary reason for staying quiet: Victims fear retaliation and escalation of violence.

As if violent acts alone are not bad enough, the situation gets even worse when children witness it. There’s a likelihood that the violent behavior can be transmitted to the next generation. Kids become adults and model the behavior of parents.

Violent behavior from one generation to the next skyrockets according to www.breakthe

cycle.org. Boys who witness domestic violence are twice as likely to abuse their own partners or children when they become adults.

This is a crippling and expensive epidemic in our society. The cost of domestic volence exceeds $5.8 billion each year according to the Centers for Diesease Control and Prevention. As if that’s not enough, it also impacts American productivity as almost 8 million days of paid work are lost each year to domestic violence.

The bottom line: Domestic violence results in physical injury, psychological trauma and sometimes death. This is a problem that belongs to all of us and we must do our part to eradicate it.

HardinCountyis fortunate to have a facility that allows victims to find immediate protection. SpringHaven provides not only shelter but guidance to help victims face the fear and trauma that results from domestic violence.

It is unfortunate the facility is almost always at capacity. That’s proof the problem is severe in Hardin County and across our region.

Domestic violence is not the “silent issue” it once was, nor should it be. If you are a victim or a witness to any form of domestic violence, do your part and contact authorities immediately. If the neighbors are yelling and screaming frequently or if you witness  out of control behavior, call the police.

Saying it’s none of your business or I don’t want to get involved could result in the loss of a life. Help rid the community of the evils of domestic violence.