October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, take a stand for safety

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Domestic violence, which is highlighted during the month of October, comes in many forms, some immediately recognizable, others very subtle. But regardless of the form that the abuse takes, it is important that victims take a stand for safety, during Domestic Violence Awareness Month in October and throughout their lives.

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Domestic Violence includes emotional, physical, verbal, financial and sexual abuse. Many people mistakenly believe that unless their loved ones hit them in a way that causes visible injury then the abuse is minor and not worthy of attention. That is a mistake. Small acts of domestic violence often mushroom into significant forms of abuse that typically results in severe injury and often death.

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Still, many domestic violence sufferers do not regard themselves as victims and ever so often they staunchly defend the source of their hurt, pain, abuse and fear. Studies have shown that people are sometimes so attached to the idea of being in a relationship that they ignore all evidence that show that their lives, safety, well-being and that of their children, are in danger as long as they remain in an abusive relationship. But the strength that it takes to leave an abusive relationship is often absent from the psyches of the abused.

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Moreover, when a person tries to leave an abusive relationship that is the time when they are at the greatest risk of harm, studies show. The dance of the abuser and abused is so common that it has its own name: the honeymoon phase–which is the period when the abusive partner apologizes for the violence, shows some form of remorse and showers the victim with presents and a brief change in behavior to put the victim at ease. Once the victim’s guard is down, the abuse returns fiercer than before.

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As October comes to a close, look to the future by taking a powerful stand against domestic violence. Vow to yourself that you will not tolerate abusive conduct that a partner tries to disguise as love. Put your safety and that of your children first, recognize when a partner is trying to isolate you from your friends and loved ones, be fearful if that person keeps tabs on your every activity and excessively monitors all of your interactions that do not include him or her.

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Remember, when a partner demonstrates consistent over the top acts of paranoia, possessiveness, control, monitoring and interference in outside friendships that partner is not displaying love, rather, that person is gradually setting the stage for an explosion of abusive conduct, which is a textbook pattern of domestic violence. If you are in an abusive relationship and need help to leave while preserving your safety and the safety of your children, call the Domestic Violence Hotline at 800-799-SAFE–OnPointPress.net–.

 

President Obama issues Domestic Violence Awareness proclamation

 

President Barack Obama issued proclamation in observation of October as Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

President Barack Obama issued proclamation in observation of October as Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Domestic Violence, Mental Health and Breast Cancer are being observed during the month of October.

During the month of October, Mental Health, Domestic Violence and Breast Cancer Awareness are observed. On September 30, President Barack Obama issued proclamations highlighting Domestic Violence and Breast Cancer. The Domestic Violence Awareness proclamation appears in full below: 

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Domestic violence affects every American. It harms our communities, weakens the foundation of our Nation, and hurts those we love most. It is an affront to our basic decency and humanity, and it must end. During National Domestic Violence Awareness Month, we acknowledge the progress made in reducing these shameful crimes, embrace the basic human right to be free from violence and abuse, and recognize that more work remains until every individual is able to live free from fear.

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Last month, our Nation marked the 20th anniversary of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). Before this historic law, domestic violence was seen by many as a lesser offense, and women in danger often had nowhere to go. But VAWA marked a turning point, and it slowly transformed the way people think about domestic abuse. Today, as 1 out of every 10 teenagers are physically hurt on purpose by someone they are dating, we seek to once again profoundly change our culture and reject the quiet tolerance of what is fundamentally unacceptable.

That is why Vice President Joe Biden launched the 1is2many initiative to engage educators, parents, and students while raising awareness about dating violence and the role we all have to play in stopping it. And it is why the White House Task Force to Protect Students from Sexual Assault and the newly launched “It’s On Us” campaign will address the intersection of sexual assault and dating violence on college campuses.

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Since VAWA’s passage, domestic violence has dropped by almost two-thirds, but despite these strides, there is more to do. Nearly two out of three Americans 15 years of age or older know a victim of domestic violence or sexual assault, and domestic violence homicides claim the lives of three women every day. When women and children are deprived of a loving home, legal protections, or financial independence because they fear for their safety, our Nation is denied its full potential.

My Administration is committed to reaching a future free of domestic violence. We are building public-private partnerships to directly address domestic violence in our neighborhoods and workplaces, and we are helping communities use evidence-based screening programs to prevent domestic violence homicides. At the same time, the Federal Government is leading by example, developing policies to ensure domestic violence is addressed in the Federal workforce.

Women, one holding a placard, take part in a rally, notably to denounce domestic violence, on the "International Women's Day" on March 8, 2014 in front of the National Museum in the capital Beirut. The "International Women's Day" dates back to the beginning of the 20th Century and has been observed by the United Nations since 1975. AFP PHOTO / ANWAR AMRO        (Photo credit should read ANWAR AMRO/AFP/Getty Images)

Women, one holding a placard, take part in a rally, notably to denounce domestic violence, on the “International Women’s Day” on March 8, 2014 in front of the National Museum in the capital Beirut. The “International Women’s Day” dates back to the beginning of the 20th Century and has been observed by the United Nations since 1975. AFP PHOTO / ANWAR AMRO (Photo credit should read ANWAR AMRO/AFP/Getty Images)

New protections under the Affordable Care Act provide more women with access to free screenings and counseling for domestic violence. And when I proudly reauthorized VAWA last year, we expanded housing assistance; added critical protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Americans; and empowered tribal governments to protect Native American women from domestic violence in Indian Country.

Our Nation’s success can be judged by how we treat women and girls, and we must all work together to end domestic violence. As we honor the advocates and victim service providers who offer support during the darkest moments of someone’s life, I encourage survivors and their loved ones who are seeking assistance to reach out by calling the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE or visiting www.TheHotline.org.

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This month, we recognize the survivors and victims of abuse whose courage inspires us all. We recommit to offering a helping hand to those most in need, and we remind them that they are not alone.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim October 2014 as National Domestic Violence Awareness Month. I call on all Americans to speak out against domestic violence and support local efforts to assist victims of these crimes in finding the help and healing they need.

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IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this thirtieth day of September, in the year of our Lord two thousand fourteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-ninth. BARACK OBAMA.

Call the National Domestic Violence Hotline .Support, resources and advice for your safety.1-800-799-SAFE (7233) 24/7, 365 days a year. Bilingual advocates on hand. thehotline.org  M-F, 10am-8pm ET; Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN) Tel: (800) 656-HOPE; Safe Horizon (212)-385-0357 OnPointPress.net