Making EveryDayMatters – Intimate Partner Violence or Domestic Violence
The numbers may surprise you, Intimate Partner Violence or Domestic Violence affects both men and women. Men are victims of nearly 3 million physical domestic violence assaults in the USA annually, but that numbers is considered very low, due to the stigma men feel they face with reporting. 1 in 4 women experience domestic violence during her lifetime. Women ages 18-34 are at the greatest risk of becoming victims of domestic violence and more than 4 million women experience physical assault and rape by their partners. In fact 1 in 3 female homicide victims are murdered by their current or former partner every year. Victims and abusers come from all walks of life and every community (upscale residences to homeless). No one is immune from it.
Domestic Violence is a pattern of behavior used to establish power and control over another person through fear and intimidation, often including the threat or use of violence…BUT domestic violence it is also so much more. Abuse can be also be manifested as emotional, sexual, reproductive and economic. If a person is constantly jealous and tries to control someone’s daily activities, that’s abuse. If they try to alienate their partner from family or friends, that’s abuse. If someone insists on secretively controlling the finances, that’s abuse. If someone tells their partner what they can do, where they can go, who they can see or what they can wear, that’s abuse.
On the weekend’s I work as a victim’s advocate (also known as a bridge advocate) for the Rose Brooks Center. Rose Brooks Center provides emergency shelter to women and children escaping life-threatening abuse. Once they are safe, these families receive the tools and resources they need to begin rebuilding their life – a life built on respect, love and compassion. Each year RBC provides more than 57,000 safe nights to women and children escaping violent homes. As a bridge advocate I work with a team of men and women who provide on-call 24×7 support to 13 KC metro area hospitals and clinics whenever a medical professional suspects or confirms domestic violence. While there, advocates provide a number of services that may include: education and support, safety planning, facilitating interactions with police, filing protection orders, linking to other community resources and assisting in shelter placement. We also are an empathetic ear just to listen as well.
During the summer I will be planning and EDM day at RBC. We will be working on the pet facility (a facility we opened a few years ago to allow women and children to bring their dogs or cats when they seek out shelter), organizing Rosie’s Closet (RBC Clothing Closet that is HUGE), doing maintenance on the facilities and other special projects that may arise. If you are interested in using your EDM day to assist please don’t hesitate to contact me. Also, if you are interested in the Bridge Program I’d be happy to talk with you. We are always looking for more help.
For more information on the Rose Brook’s Center visit: http://www.rosebrooks.org/
Jennifer Bronson, Project Manager, Consulting
**Pictures via the Rose Brooks Facebook page.