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Silent Witness: Victims Need Silence To Be Broken

When I was a child there was a murder-suicide in my neighborhood. Never once was it suggested that it might have been a result of domestic abuse. The topic was not even raised.

Today, when such an event occurs domestic violence is considered as a possible cause. During the month of October, through its Silent Witness initiative, the Northwest Arkansas Women’s Shelter and the community remembered the lives of 10 women and 1 unborn baby who were murdered in Arkansas in 2014 as a result of domestic violence. Today, we talk about domestic abuse much more than in the past, but all too many individuals still fail to grasp the complexity of this social problem and what needs to be done to confront it.

Clearly we need to create the public safety net that prevents domestic violence deaths, but we need to do more. We need to commit public safety monies to the cause. As a community, we need to become informed, to act, and for us collectively to start ending it, through all the resources at our command.

I have been in the abuse prevention space for over 15 years, working with both children and adults. What I have come to believe is that when adults abuse each other, particularly through domestic abuse, invariably children witness it and are victims of abuse themselves. If we address domestic abuse, we can help model behavior for children that may prevent the next generation from being abusive or submissive to abuse.

“Domestic violence” means many different things to the residents of northwest Arkansas. air max For the victim it means personal, financial, and emotional turmoil or worse. Consider the following:

6% of adult women and 28.5% adult men will experience rape, physical violence, or stalking by an intimate partner at some point in their lives.

Application to NWA: Using 2010 census numbers, this means roughly 6,400 women and 4,900 men in Bentonville will be victims of domestic assault or violence at some point in their lives.

Yet another way to look at these numbers is regionally. Approximately 60,000 men and 76,000 women in Washington and Benton Counties will be victims of domestic violence during their lifetimes.

Domestic violence is the most common cause of injury for women ages 18-44.Domestic violence leads to increased incidences of chronic disease. Abused women are 70% more likely to have heart disease, 80% more likely to experience a stroke, and 60% more likely to develop asthma.Nearly 1 out of 4 women who are employed report that domestic violence has affected their work performance at some point in their lives.Each year, 8 million days of paid work is lost in the U.S. because of domestic violence. This is equivalent to 36,000 jobs.

Application to NWA: If all the lost jobs occurred in Bentonville at the same time, roughly 2 out of every 3 individuals would lose their jobs.

Domestic violence costs $8.3 billion in expenses annually to U.S. buy bns gold employers, through a combination of higher medical costs ($5.8 billion) and lost productivity ($2.5 billion).

If an individual is experiencing domestic violence, what services are available to help? The Northwest Arkansas Women’s Shelter offers:

Safe shelter for those abused and their childrenReferral servicesEducation on legal rights and support in pursuing those rightsSupport groups and individual sessionsCommunity outreach and educationChildren support group and other age-appropriate servicesOn-going support for non-resident clients

This does not represent a complete list of services. Each domestic shelter may provide a different combination or configuration of these services.

If you are need of services or know someone who does, reach out to your nearest shelter and talk to them. asics femme pas cher They all have hotlines you can call for help or to answer your questions about domestic violence. The hotline number for the Northwest Arkansas Women’s Shelter is 479-246-9999. Someone is available 24-7, 365 days per year.

In comparing today with the era of my childhood, it is obvious domestic abuse and domestic violence still negatively impact our communities, workforces, and families. One difference is that we recognize and categorize violent crimes more often as domestic violence. We talk more openly about domestic abuse and domestic violence, and their dynamics. nike air max 1 homme But, today, we need to do more than talk. We need members of the community to be committed to actively educating themselves about the problem, to allocate resources (including public funds) necessary to insure services are available to the victims and their children, and to promote healthy relationships among our school-age children.

We need to break the silence. Your proactive action as a community member, as a citizen, to be the voice for victims is needed today. To find out how you can get involved to be the voice locally, learn more at www.nwaws.org, or e-mail us at info@nwaws.org.

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