We Need to Address Domestic Violence Until It Stops

Domestic Violence Awareness Month evolved from the Day of Unity conceived by the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence. In October 1987 the first Domestic Violence Awareness Month was observed. (Adapted from the 1996 Domestic Violence Awareness Month Resource Manual of the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence.)

Every year in October programs across our country bring awareness to this issue that affects so many lives here and across the world. Domestic violence is vicious, traumatic and we need to keep addressing it until it stops.

This awareness month is an opportunity for everyone to celebrate those who have survived, mourn those who have died and help those who are still in violent relationships. This is an issue that affects us all.

Even if you are not in a relationship that is violent, domestic violence still impacts you through the economic and social impact it has on society as a whole. The economic impact of domestic violence is staggering. Researchers have estimated the annual cost of domestic violence to the nation at $67 billion in labor force, child well-being, housing, social services, health care, and criminal justice. The social impact could touch a little closer to home. Your neighbor, your classmate, your coworker, your sister or your mother could be a victim, or it could even be you.

People who experience domestic violence live in terror every day; they are repeatedly traumatized and victimized. It continues to sadden me that there are people in our community that do not know there are resources available to them. We still have a lot of work to do to make sure that everyone who is in need knows there is help available.

The more we do to bring light to this issue, the closer we are to bringing it to an end. Domestic violence is not the fault of the victim, and they alone cannot stop the violence. It will take the entire community working together to bring an end to the violence. Abusers need to be held accountable for their behavior and we need to ensure victims are aware of the services available to them.

As we bring attention to the issue, we can bring awareness of services to those in need. Statistics show that 1 in 4 women will be a victim of domestic violence at some point in her life. In our country, three people die every day because of domestic violence. That is unacceptable.

If we all work together we can do it, we can break the cycle and bring an end to the violence.

If you are in need of assistance please call the Metro hotline, 816-HOTLINE.

To learn how to get involved and help break the cycle of violence please visit one of the area domestic violence programs websites for more information.

Hope House: www.hopehouse.net (located in Eastern Jackson County)
Rose Brooks Center: www.rosebrooks.org (located in Kansas City)
Synergy Services: www.synergyservices.org (located north of the river)
NewHouse: www.newhouseshelter.org (located in NE Kansas City)
SafeHome: www.safehome-ks.org (located in Johnson County, Kan.)
Joyce H Williams Center: www.friendsofyates.org (located in Wyandotte County Kan.)

Health Forward Foundation
2300 Main Street, Suite 304
Kansas City, MO 64108
(816) 241-7006