In the police and sheriff’s reports that this newspaper publishes these days there seems to be more and more domestic violence cases.
October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. More than half of all violent crime in Tennessee is the result of some form of domestic abuse, according to a news release that I received from 24th Judicial District Attorney General Matt Stowe.
It seems that senior citizens may be receiving the brunt of the violence.
Stowe says the increasing need to stay at home in order to avoid the COVID-19 has had the unfortunate effect of trapping many people, old and young, with their abusers. That means that those suffering from domestic abuse are definitely not “Safer at Home.”
The National Domestic Abuse Hotline defines Domestic Violence as “a pattern of behaviors used by one partner to maintain power and control over another partner in an intimate relationship.” While most people think of domestic abuse as merely physical abuse, it can take many different forms. These can include emotional and verbal abuse, sexual abuse, and stalking.
People from all walks of life can be affected by domestic abuse: rich or poor, rural or urban. In other words, domestic abuse has no boundaries. Besides that, it can occur in every type of relationship, to people of any race, age, gender, sexuality, religion, education level or economic status.
Domestic abuse occurs when one person believes that they have the right to control another’s life. Abusers are self-centered and think that their desires are priority in the relationship with the abused.
As the years go by, the abuser learns to enjoy the power that is felt when they control another. This feeling of power and control is what fuels domestic abuse. Often abusers will use someone’s past history as blackmail to exploit or control that person. Regardless of one’s past history, no-one deserves to be controlled and abused.
The National Coalition on Domestic Abuse notes that 10 million people are physically abused each year by a friend or family member. Hotlines across the country report that they receive more than 20,000 calls about domestic abuse each day.
Stowe says the best way to STOP Domestic Abuse is to talk openly about it. This lets victims know that it is not right for anyone to abuse them and that help is available.
W.R.A.P. (Wo/Men’s Resource and Rape Assistance Program) is an organization that can help deal with the trauma of domestic abuse.It provides counselors to every county in the 24th Judicial district that includes Benton, Carroll, Decatur, Hardin and Henry, according to Stowe.
So if you see abusive behavior, call law enforcement, you could save a life.