October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month—a month for people to come together to support victims and survivors of abuse, mourn deaths caused by relationship violence, and spread awareness about this issue.
Domestic violence is broadly defined as violence or abuse committed against one person by another in a relationship context. Domestic typically refers to a home or a family, but the awareness month of October is inclusive of all issues pertaining to relationship violence and abuse. You may have seen some stories about relationship violence in the media in the past few weeks, when information about a few NFL players was released to the public. This, while a tragic event, has brought about many conversations about how people handle cases of relationship violence. Fortunately, the NFL is now making moves to put harsher punishments on perpetrators of relationship violence.
In the wake of cases of domestic violence appearing in mainstream media, it is particularly important to note that relationship violence is usually more common than we tend to think. A study shown on loveisrespect.org reports that one in five college women have experienced physical abuse, sexual abuse, or threats of physical violence in a relationship. Additionally, the study states that 57% of people who have been in an abusive relationship say that it occurred in college.
During this Domestic Violence Awareness Month, take the time to think about whether you and your friends are engaging in healthy relationship behaviors. Always watch out for warning signs of abuse such as a partner being extremely jealous or controlling. To find out more information, go to websites like: nomore.org, loveisrespect.org, ncadv.org. Relationship violence is never normal, and never acceptable.