Domestic Violence Awareness Month — #Every1KnowsSome1
Domestic violence thrives in silence. To be able to support survivors and prevent domestic violence, we need to talk about it. Abuse — whether emotional, physical, sexual, or financial — is all about power and control. With the pandemic, Hope House has seen an increase in people reaching out for help and in the severity of the abuse. The recent Gabby Petito case, which received widespread national attention, also demonstrates the potential lethality of a partner’s escalating violence. But domestic violence doesn’t always mean visible bruises. People who act abusive can also bruise survivors’ credit, financial wellbeing, and mental and emotional state — all while manipulating others into believing they would never harm anyone. These are just a few of the significant barriers that survivors face in leaving their abusive partners.
If someone you knew was experiencing domestic violence, would you know how to help? Whether you realize it or not, #Every1KnowsSome1 in an abusive relationship. You don’t need to be an expert or have all the answers. Survivors often tell us that what made the biggest impact was having a friend or family member reach out to offer support, to listen and believe them, and provide resources. By staying connected, you can help survivors know that the abuse is not their fault and that they are not alone. Do your part to remove the stigma. This Domestic Violence Awareness Month and beyond, keep sharing information and resources, and talk about domestic violence with your friends and family. Everyone deserves safe and healthy relationships where they are free to make their own choices.
If you or someone you know doesn’t feel safe in their relationship, please call Hope House’s 24-hour, confidential helpline at 1–800–584–6790. People don’t need to be in crisis to call. Anyone can simply talk with one of our advocates about what they’re experiencing or how they’re affected by past experiences; to learn about available resources; to get legal help; to discover healthy coping strategies; to learn about support groups; or for advice on helping a friend or family member. Advocates are here to listen and believe, talk through options, and provide support and resources. Learn more about our free services and how you can help at www.HopeHouseSCW.org or follow @HopeHouseSCW on Facebook and Instagram.
— Jess Kaehny, Community Education Program Manager, Hope House of South Central Wisconsin