Posts Tagged ‘domestic violence’

Debunking Myths About Domestic Violence

August 29th, 2020 by ATV Staff

There are many myths and misconceptions about domestic violence. We shared many of them this month on Facebook. In case you missed any of them, we’ve compiled them here. Of course, this is not an all-inclusive list, but many of the most popular ones.

Myth: Abuse takes place because of drugs and alcohol Substance abuse does not cause domestic violence. While alcohol and domestic violence are frequently paired, it is never the sole reason behind it. It may increase the level of violence or it may be used as an excuse for the violence, but it is not the cause. Learn more here.

Myth: Abused victims can just leave Leaving is more complicated than it seems. There are many factors that prevent victims from leaving. Reasons may include financial restrictions, children, pets, social pressures or religious beliefs. Aside from danger, you can find a list of many reasons why people stay in abusive relationships here.

Myth: Domestic violence only happens among poor, minorities or in rural areas. Domestic violence does not recognize class or race. It happens throughout all levels of society, income and geographic locations. Stats don't really show the true prevalence of domestic violence among middle and upper class. Such women often stay quiet out of social concerns or have the means to stay in a hotel, not needing shelter services, from which statistics are often derived. Learn more here.

Myth: Domestic violence only affects women According to the National Domestic Violence Hotline, more than 1 in 4 men (28.5%) in the United States have experienced rape, physical violence, and/or stalking by an intimate partner in their lifetime. Learn more here.

Myth: Domestic violence is only physical Abuse is not only physical but can be verbal or emotional too. Abuse can be controlling leaving victims fearful and without liberties. Abusers may also make threats against personal property and pets. Learn some of the signs of non-physical abuse here.

Myth: Domestic violence is a private matter We have a community responsibility to help one another. If you or someone you know needs help, please call Alternatives to Violence at (970) 669-5150.

How to Help Victims of Violence During the COVID-19 Outbreak

March 23rd, 2020 by ATV Staff
Photo credit: Freepik.com

We live in a remarkably giving community. That hasn’t been better proven than during these confusing and scary times as new cases of people infected with COVID-19 are surfacing. Victims of violence are some of the most vulnerable members in our community right now. As supporters of ATV, you know that being at home isn’t a safe haven for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. Many of you have reached out asking how to help. Here are just a few ways to help someone in need right now.

  • Don’t text–call. A voice often offers much more comfort than a text. Plus, a friend in need may be more likely to express concerns and emotions in an actual verbal conversation. You may even be able to detect if there is something wrong talking or Face Timing a friend.
  • Encourage them to act fast: For victims who are still healthy or not yet in quarantine status, encourage them to move while they can–either to a friend’s house or shelter. Staying at home may become more violent as time goes by.
  • Practice self-care: Initiate a little shared girl time, even if it’s online. Encourage your friend to think about their well being, whether that’s doing a free online yoga class or a facial. Keeping occupied and maintaining good wellness habits is important.
  • Drop off necessities: It is very likely that an abusive partner will withhold necessities like hand sanitizer as a form of power or control. Offer to pick up essentials for your friend and personally deliver them to ensure they’ve been received.
  • SUPPORT VICTIMS OF VIOLENCE BY SUPPORTING ATV! As we try to navigate the challenges we have been faced with during the COVID-19 outbreak, ATV is doing all we can to be there for those who need us most right now. The cancellation of the Purple Ribbon Breakfast is a great loss of revenue. We are uncertain on how to plan for even the next few weeks ahead. If you are able, please make a donation to ATV. However small, every bit of help is needed right now. It is so important that we maintain our shelter and 24-hour crisis hotline. So many people are looking to us for guidance and support. We are grateful for your consideration and generosity.

DONATE HERE

Terms Commonly Used When Discussing Domestic Violence

February 10th, 2020 by ATV Staff

Engaging in a conversation about domestic violence can be emotional and daunting. The language used may be unfamiliar to most people outside of the advocacy or legal world, making the conversation that much more uncomfortable. We thought it would be helpful and beneficial to create more ease when discussing domestic violence by sharing the definitions of some of the most commonly used phrases.

Advocate: A trained professional or volunteer working for a non-profit or government-based domestic violence victim-witness advocate program.

Abuser: A person who uses abusive tactics and behavior to exert power and control over another person with whom the abuser is in an intimate, dating or family relationship.

Case Management: The coordination of services on behalf of an individual by an advocate.

Civil Protection Order (CPO): A court order that usually requires a respondent to stay away from and have no contact with the petitioner and directs the respondent not to commit any criminal offense against the petitioner. The order can also specify terms of custody, require the respondent to vacate the household and/or order the respondent to relinquish firearms or other property. CPOs are in effect for a period of one year and can be extended or modified by a judge.

Continuance: A judge can reschedule the case to a later hearing date; if there is a Temporary Protection Order (TPO) it can usually be extended until that date. Even if a case is continued, the petitioner must appear at every court date so that the case is not dismissed.

Domestic Violence: A pattern of behavior in which one individual attempts to exert power and control over another individual in a current or former intimate relationship.

Depositions: Pretrial proceedings in which attorneys for parties in a civil case have the opportunity to examine, under oath, the opposing parties and potential witnesses in the case. Depositions are sworn and reduced to writing. The transcripts may be admissible in evidence at trials if the witnesses are no longer available.

Isolation: When one person uses friends, family and social networks to establish and maintain power and control over a victim. Examples include, but are not limited to: controlling where a victim goes, who s/he talks to, what s/he wears, and/or who s/he sees, limiting involvement in places of worship, PTA and other social networks.

Lethality Assessment: An analysis done by an advocate or law enforcement officer to determine the level of risk of homicide for a victim of domestic violence based on recent and changing behaviors of the batterer.

Perpetrator: A person carrying out domestic violence behaviors.

Protection Order: The general term for an order issued by the Court mandating a batterer to not contact, harass or come within a certain distance of the petitioner and/or other persons named in the order.

Safety Plan: A plan, verbal or written, a victim of domestic violence creates with an advocate. The plan consists of action steps a victim can take to keep her/his children safe when violence takes place or to stop violence from happening.

Trauma Informed Care: Promotes a culture of safety, empowerment and healing. It means treating the whole person, taking into account past trauma and the resulting coping mechanisms when attempting to understand behaviors and treat the patient.

Stalking: When one person pursues, follows or harasses another person against her/his wishes. Examples include, but are not limited to: repeated, unwanted phone calls, following a victim, sending unwanted gifts, destroying or vandalizing a victim’s property, repeated threats and/or tracking a victim’s online activity. 

Vicarious Trauma: The impact of exposure to extreme events experienced by another person resulting in the listener feeling overwhelmed by the trauma or triggering the listener’s own past trauma(s).

Source: DC Coalition Against Domestic Violence, “Commonly Used Terms in Cases Involving Domestic Violence”

How to Help Victims of Violence Over the Holidays

December 18th, 2019 by ATV Staff

For victims of violence, the holiday season can be very stressful and uncomfortable. The thought of having to even try to put on a happy face and share in celebratory hugs and parties can be daunting.  If you know of someone who has gone through such trauma be cognizant of their feelings and position. Here are a few tips to keep in mind to try to alleviate some of the stress and concerns they might be feeling.

Don’t push them into being festive. Don’t be insulted if your friend chooses to waive the annual holiday party. They may still be harboring hurt feelings and may feel they won’t be good company at a time when everyone is supposed to be merry.

Skip the alcohol or offer other options: Alcohol can trigger negative emotions. Survivors may have emotional mood swings but you certainly don’t want to encourage them to come on. Don’t tempt drinking by having festivities centered around it. Serve a non-alcoholic punch as an option.

Volunteer together: Focusing on helping others might be a good way to help this person feel empowered and useful, while also diverting their thoughts from their own struggles.

Forgo material gifts: Your loved one may very well be in financial distress after leaving a violent situation. Suggest exchanging “favors” or handmade gifts instead of something that might cause stress because they don’t have the money.

Make plans: Even if it’s to the movies, make plans with your friend. Giving them something to look forward to and keeping them busy is always helpful.

Of course, the gift that keeps on giving is offering an ear to listen and a shoulder to cry on if your friend needs it. Your friend is most likely still on the road to healing and recovery and being able to feel safe and comfortable in expressing their feelings is a part of their healing process. You may not always know what to say but you are able to genuinely comfort this person in a difficult time.