October: Domestic Violence Awareness Month



The month of October is a time to pay awareness to those affected by domestic violence.

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month (DVAM). This month is a time when people of all ages can come together to acknowledge survivors of domestic violence and share the stories of its victims.
Domestic violence includes physical, psychological, sexual and/or economic abuse of a victim. According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV), domestic violence is the intimidation, physical assault, sexual assault and/or another abusive behavior part of a systematic pattern of power by one intimate partner against another.
Violent and abusive relationships can occur in teen dating. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 26 percent of women and 15 percent of men experienced intimate partner violence for the first time before age 18. A risk factor in teenage dating is the belief that violence is acceptable in the relationship. Some teen couples do not have a healthy partnership and do not see their behavior in the relationship as victim and perpetrator.

“Red Flags” include someone who:
Wants to move too quickly into the relationship
Wants you all to him or herself; insists you stop spending time with your family and friends
Wants to know where you are all of the time and frequently calls,texts and/or emails you throughout the day
Takes no accountability for his/her behavior and blames others
Constantly looking at your phone to see who you’re texting or talking to

Fauquier County Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault Advocacy Program (FCDVSAAP) had a county wide Bulletin Campaign for their program, domestic violence and sexual assault. Angela Walters, Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault Outreach Coordinator says, “We partnered with businesses and churches within the community, and they posted 2×3 signs with our program information and hotline number.”
Last year, FCDVSAAP hosted a walk on October 4 on Main Street. The “Walk a Mile in her Shoes” event was followed by a Candlelight Vigil. Unfortunately, due to Covid-19, the walk could not happen this year.
Following the outbreak of COVID-19, agencies from all over the world have been reporting an increase in domestic violence. According to NCBI (National Center for Biotechnology Information), offenders have been using COVID-19 as a weapon against their victims. For example, offenders forbidding handwashing in an attempt to increase the victim’s fear of contracting the virus, or threatening to forbid treatment if the victim does contract the virus.
According to Medical News Today, the number of domestic violence cases in France has risen by 30 percent. In China, one police station in Hubei saw a tripling of domestic violence reports during quarantine in February 2020.
According to NBC News, of the 22 responses from US law enforcement agencies upon NBC News’ data request from domestic violence calls, 18 departments said they saw a rise in March. Spain’s domestic violence helpline noted a 47 percent increase in calls in the first two weeks of April compared to the same period in 2019, while the number of women contacting essential support services via email or social media reportedly increased by 700 percent, according to Guardian.
The news has reported cases of high-profile domestic abuse, but thousands of people experience domestic abuse every day. Leaving an abusive relationship can be the most violent part. It is important to know the abuser’s schedule, so when it comes time to leave, it is safe.
The Culpeper Services to Abused Families (SAFE), provides an emergency, temporary stay to victims of domestic violence and sexual assault who are fleeing a violent or abusive relationship. To talk to an advocate regarding safe housing or other resources, call the SAFE hotline.

Culpeper Services to Abused Families Hotline – 800-825-8876
FCDVSAAP hotline – (540)-422-8460