Part 1 in a series
October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month and the Enterprise is committed to bringing public awareness of the crime through weekly coverage throughout the month.
On a local level, there have been 74 arrests since January 1, 2013 on domestic violence charges, with four of those being aggravated domestic abuse/battery and one in which a child was present and place in danger. There have also been 15 arrests for violation of protective orders in Morehouse Parish to date
Domestic abuse is a reality not only in large towns but also in small communities. This abuse does not always come as physical, either. There are other ways both women and men are abused daily which, while may not leave a bruise, are just as damaging.
Forms of domestic violence include emotional, psychological, verbal, physical and sexual. Domestic violence includes physical and sexual assault, harassment, threats, blaming, name-calling, isolating from family and social contacts, withholding money, controlling behavior, stalking, verbal abuse, etc.
Domestic abuse is a behavioral pattern with distinct stages. The pattern is often described as a cycle, and because with each episode the seriousness of abuse escalates, the pattern can also be well-described as a spiral. Domestic violence progresses from set-up to abuse, to guilt and fear of reprisal, to rationalization, to normal behavior, to fantasy and planning, and back to the set up, which begins another cycle.
President Obama's proclamation for the National Awareness Month reads, in part...
"Since the passage of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) nearly 20 years ago, our Nation's response to domestic violence has greatly improved. What was too often seen as a private matter best hidden behind closed doors is now an established issue of national concern. We have changed our laws, transformed our culture, and improved support services for survivors. We have seen a significant drop in domestic violence homicides and improved training for police, prosecutors, and advocates. Yet we must do more to provide protection and justice for survivors and to prevent violence from occurring. During National Domestic Violence Awareness Month, we stand with domestic abuse survivors, celebrate our Nation's progress in combatting these despicable crimes, and resolve to carry on until domestic violence is no more.
Although we have made substantial progress in reducing domestic violence, one in four women and one in seven men in the United States still suffer serious physical violence at the hands of an intimate partner at least once during their lifetimes. Every day, three women lose their lives in this country as a result of domestic violence. Millions of Americans live in daily, silent fear within their own homes..."
In Wednesday's Enterprise, we will explore the impact domestic abuse has on today's teenagers.