While awareness of intimate partner violence is growing, the topic continues to be viewed by many as taboo. Awareness of just how prevalent domestic violence is an important step toward rousing support and action for widespread change and prevention.
National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey data reports that on average, 24 people per minute are victims of rape, physical violence, or stalking by an intimate partner in the US. This means that over the course of LLCC’s 2016-17 academic year, 9,123,840 women and men will experience domestic violence. 1 in 4 women and 1 in 7 men are the victims of severe physical violence by an intimate partner violence at some point in their lifetime.
Despite its prevalence, the patterns of domestic violence are not fully understood by many bystanders. A 2006 survey reports that approximately 2/3 of Americans say it is hard to determine whether someone has been a victim of domestic abuse. Moreover, more than 90% of Americans fail to define repeated emotional, verbal, sexual abuse and controlling behaviors as patterns of domestic violence and abuse. In this same survey, more than half of Americans (54%) say they may have been in situations where they believed domestic violence had occurred, but they didn’t act because they were uncertain and didn’t know what to do. Without awareness of the pervasiveness of intimate partner violence and its signs, victims and bystanders struggle to fight against the patterns of abuse that millions experience every year.
Throughout the month of October, look for our “See the Signs” campaign. Posters around campus, made by Thom Whalen’s graphic design students, display different signs that bystanders may notice in a loved one who is a victim of domestic violence. Through education and observation, we can be a part of the change.
For more information on domestic violence and resources for help, visit LLCC’s Sexual Violence Resources Webpage.