October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month, observed - though certainly not celebrated - both nationally and locally.
Events, such as the Prudence Crandall Center’s annual “Silent No More” vigil, to be held Wednesday at the agency’s Rose Hill Campus at 594 Burritt St., staring at 6 p.m., are intended to draw attention to a widespread problem.
Domestic abuse is a largely hidden crime, occurring primarily at home. We only get a glimpse of it when something truly terrible occurs. And yet, on average, 24 people per minute are victims of rape, physical violence or stalking by an intimate partner in the United States, according to the National Domestic Violence Hotline. And it touches so many lives. Nearly 3 in 10 women (29 percent) and 1 in 10 men (10 percent) have experienced rape, physical violence and/or stalking by a partner.
On Monday, Herald Reporter Lisa Backus gave us local incidences this year, including a New Britain woman and her children who were allegedly shot by her boyfriend, another city woman and a Newington woman allegedly shot by their husbands. And those are just the incidents we know about.
Domestic abusers rely on their victim’s silence.
“Victims who are involved in violent relationships or who have recently experienced severe forms of violence … might not be willing to disclose their experiences because of unresolved emotional trauma or concern for their safety,” according to the Washington Post.
The first step, then, is to break the silence or, if you suspect a friend or relative is in danger, to confront them. Step two is to create a path to safety. And do it now, before it becomes yet another tragedy.