Since 1989 when it was declared, October has been Domestic Violence Awareness Month. This month highlights both the survivors of domestic or intimate partner violence (IPV) and also advocates for those who are tragically victims of this form of violence. October is a time to support those in your life who are survivors of violence, as well as donate time and money to causes which support those seeking to leave or recover from relationships in which domestic violence occurred.
Domestic violence impacts survivors and their families in a major way. Experiencing domestic violence drastically increases your risk of developing PTSD, anxiety, and/or depression. Additionally, survivors are at a higher risk of dissociation, which is a mental health condition where you suddenly feel disconnected from yourself.
Domestic violence doesn’t just impact those involved in the conflict - children of parents who engage in violence are impacted, too. For example, male children who witness their fathers attack their mothers are 10x more likely to continue the pattern and abuse a female partner when they become an adult. Female children who witness their mother experience abuse are 6x more likely to experience abuse themselves later in life.
Curious about resources for those experiencing domestic violence? Interested in donating to an organization that supports survivors, if you are not one yourself? Check out these resources below!
National Domestic Violence Hotline: this free resource can be called anytime; it can also be texted and there is a chat feature online, if you’d prefer. You can reach the Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233).
Suicide and Crisis Lifeline: this resource is for anyone experiencing a mental health crisis, which may occur after experiencing violence. You can dial 988 to be connected to a trained counselor immediately.
Transitional Homes and Shelters:
Domestic Violence Shelter Search Tool: this directory provides the location of domestic violence shelters nationwide. No matter your location in the United States, you can use this tool to find a shelter near you.
Office on Violence Against Women: this federal resource provides grants to women who need funding for transitional housing. You can apply for this financial resource using the link.
Transitional Housing Directory: while this directory isn’t strictly for domestic violence survivors (some housing is for those experiencing homelessness or for those discharging from a substance use center), there is a national list of all transitional housing by state. If you are experiencing homelessness or struggle with substance use, this may be especially helpful for you.
National Coalition Against Domestic Violence: this national organization provides legislative advocacy and other financial support for survivors of domestic violence. If you’re looking for a place to donate, this is a great organization to do so!
Women Against Abuse: this organization provides a variety of resources, including how to be safe at home, transitional housing, and legal support.
Shelters with Wish Lists: this resource shows wish lists of various shelters nationwide - if you’re looking to donate, this is a wonderful way to support shelters for those experiencing domestic violence.
We hope this blog has both informed you about the dangers of domestic violence as well as provided you with a variety of resources, whether you’re a survivor or someone looking to help! If you’re looking for mental health counseling, the clinicians at Higher Life Pathways would love to help. Reach out today to be paired with a clinician ready to support you. We look forward to hearing from you!