Tuesday, July 12, 2011

10 Steps YOU can take to end domestic violence

Adapted from http://www.connectnyc.org/

10 Things You Can Do To Combat Domestic Violence

1. Understand the Dynamics of Domestic Violence

The results of domestic violence can be deadly. 12 women in NYC were recently killed by way of domestic violence in about a month.

Domestic Violence (DV), also known as Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) or Interpersonal Violence (IV), is about maintaining power and control over another. Abused persons live in a controlling environment, feels fear and often “walks on eggshells”.

Abuse takes many forms. Examples of abuse include: physical abuse ranging from pinching and shoving to physical assault (strangulation, punching, kicking, use of items causing injury), verbal/emotional abuse (degrading remarks and threats of harm and deportation, intimidation, sexist comments), financial abuse, sexual exploitation and rape, and symbolic violence (throwing furniture, punching walls, etc).

2. Know the Facts
• An international statistic from the United Nations shows that 1 in 3 women will experience some form of violence in her lifetime.
• 1/4 of ALL women will experience DV in her lifetime.
• 1/3 of all women murdered, were killed by their partners with over 16,000 murders due to an intimate partner.

3. Be Aware of Your Own Attitude

Challenge how your own behaviors and words contribute towards violence and the violation of women and others. Check out your own attitude. Look within. Think of how your own thinking and behavioral patterns were shaped by those you observed growing up.

How do you refer to women in every day speech? Each culture bares responsibility for reducing violence against women and interpersonal violence. Examples include language like “bitch” and “hoe”. Author Marlon Cadogan of Stand-up Men provides one detailed example, “What does it mean to call a woman words such as “cow”? Cow = Inferior. Subhuman. Male property. Once a person is reduced to property, the abusive person can feel they can exploit and use the other in any way.”

Having awareness and challenging your behavior can be transformative. Taking small steps to not tolerate sexist, abusive attitude can add up to big strides in preventing and stopping domestic violence. Make a decision today. Inform a “buddy” to hold you accountable to your change.

4. Intervene With Caution

Talk to a friend who is verbally or physically abusive to women in a private, calm moment, rather than in public or directly after an abusive incident.

Talk to a group of his friends and strategize a group response. (There is strength in numbers.)

If you are a high school or college student, approach a trusted teacher, professor, social worker, or health professional. Tell them what you have observed and ask them to do something, or ask them to advise you on how you might proceed.

5. Listen and Support the Victim/Survivor

If a victim/survivor comes forward about the abuse, be supportive. Listen privately and separately. Do not blame the victim. Validate the person’s feelings by believing her. Support her coming forward about the abuse. Understand it isn’t easy and often not safe for the victim/survivor to “just leave”.

Help the victim/survivor understand the power and control dynamics of abuse and the life-threatening safety and health risks when there is escalating violence that affects her and her children. Don’t pressure the victim/survivor to leave when the situation is not fully understood and the victim/survivor is not ready. Empower the victim/survivor to make the best decision for herself and the children. Put safety first. Listen calmly, fully, and patiently.

6. Get Help. Contact Local Agencies

Learn about shelter, counseling & your legal rights
• 24-hr English hotline: 1-800-621-HOPE (1-800-621-4673)
• 24-hr hotline in 12 East & South Asian languages:
New York Asian Women’s Center
• 24-hr hotline in Korean (한국어 상담):
1-718-460-3800 뉴욕가정상담소 Korean American Family Srv Ctr
• 7 days a week, 9AM - 6PM, Chinese hotline 中文熱線:
1-877-990-8595 (求求您,幫我救我) Garden of Hope
• M-F, 9am-5pm, Bengali, Hindi & Urdu hotline:
1-212-868-6741 Sakhi for South Asian Women

For victim support and more information, reach out to a local agency, which can provide free, confidential, and multi-lingual support services. Agencies can offer resources and practical help such as: toll-free hotline, counseling, clothing, food, shelter, financial, legal, healthcare or referrals to medical services and much more.

Contacting an agency is helpful because it compliments your support of listening and allows professional intervention to address some of the complex issues that intersect with interpersonal violence. In the case of interpersonal violence, a witness to the violence (also known as a bystander) may not fully understand the dangers and complex dynamics involved in women staying.

Directory: http://www.nyscadv.org/directory.htm

7. Stop Making Excuses

Stop blaming abusive behavior on drugs, alcohol, job stress, anger, provocation, and “loss of control”. Only the abusive person can stop the violence by committing to a lifetime change towards positive non-violent behavior. This has to be the abusive person’s decision to change the harmful behavior.

8. Honor Choice

Part of stopping VAW is about recognizing and honoring her choice. By respecting things like her decision to say yes and no and her freedom to make choices, you are honoring her basic human rights. Honor your mother, sister, grandmother, family member, colleagues and friends by treating her with care.

9. Speak Out

Mentor, teach, and display to young kids how to behave in ways that don’t involve degrading and abusive patterns. Use phrases like it is “not right” and “not cool” if they participate in behavior that disrespects women on any level. One slogan to keep in mind is:

“Real men don’t abuse women”

“If we can get men to drop their macho stance, we can end violence against women.” – Marlon Cadogan, Stand-Up Guys

“If we see a woman as just body parts, something we own or control, we will continue to be violent”, “Objectification is the beginning of thinking we can do whatever we want with a woman. We need to see women as our equals.” – Quentin Walcott, CONNECT

10. Volunteer

Volunteer with us to reduce and prevent domestic violence in YOUR communities.

We have a Project Speak Out volunteer training scheduled on Saturday, July 30, from 10am – 6pm; we will provide lunch. Afterward, you will receive a certificate of completion for the training and be ready to start volunteering.

We will go over the following topics during the training:

• Bringing in the Bystander: A Prevention Workshop for Establishing a Community of Responsibility
• Domestic violence
• Asian-Americans & domestic violence
• Project Speak Out
• Outreach & Activities: Role of Volunteer, Resources

Contact us below if you are interested: Project Speak Out Manager, Tel: (212) 732-0054 ext 163, Email: projectspeakout@nyawc.org

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