EDITORIAL: Domestic violence is an insidious problem
In recognition of October as Domestic Violence Awareness Month, it is important to note that nearly 1-in-4 women have experienced violence by a spouse or boyfriend, 7 million children live in families in which severe partner violence occurred and almost 500 women are assaulted in the United States each day.
Domestic violence is best understood as a pattern of abusive behaviors – including physical, sexual and psychological attacks as well as economic coercion – used by one intimate partner against another (adult or adolescent) to gain, maintain, or regain power and control in the relationship, according to the National Resource Center on Domestic Violence, or NRCDV.
Batterers use of a range of tactics to frighten, terrorize, manipulate, hurt, humiliate, blame, often injure and sometimes kill a current or former intimate partner.
The NRCDV suggests several options if you are in immediate danger:
• Call 911;
• Call the Mitchell County SafePlace hotline at 828-765-4044; or
• Call the U.S. National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 (SAFE).
The NRCDV also offers tips about using modern technology.
Remember: Corded phones are more private and less able to be intercepted than cordless phones or analog cellphones; Be aware: You may not be able to reach 911 using an Internet phone or Internet-based phone service, so you may need to be prepared to use another phone to call 911 and many local domestic violence programs, shelters and rape crisis centers offer free cellphone donation programs.
The NRCDV website also suggests that if you think your activities are being monitored, they probably are. Abusive people are often controlling and want to know your every move.
You don’t need to be a computer programmer or have special skills to monitor someone’s computer and internet activities.
Anyone can do it and there are many ways to monitor with programs such as Spyware, keystroke loggers and hacking tools, according to NRCDV.
Although women are much more likely to be victims of intimate partner violence, 15 percent of domestic violence victims are men.
Statistics show domestic violence is not a singular incident, it is an insidious problem deeply rooted in our culture and we need to do whatever possible to prevent it and reverse the trend.