Thursday, October 30, 2008

Increasing Domestic Violence is Really Scary

Yes, I know it is Halloween and people are getting ready for tricks and treats and all sorts of fun stuff. But I want to talk about something that is truly frightening.

I cannot let October end without mentioning that it is Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

Recently, I saw a teenage girl being bullied by a teenage boy. He didn't hit her, but he was being quite menacing. It was late at night at a bus stop outside a metro station in my troubled neighborhood. I had my cell phone ready in case it escalated and I needed to call the police. When I told someone this story they stopped short of chiding me for not intervening. What could I have done? And how would I have helped her if he decided to do me harm as well?

Sadly, things like this happen everyday.

Just yesterday, a friend of mine told me that while her then (and now former) boyfriend didn't hit her, he gave her some indication that he could hurt her if he wanted to.

According to, about 1/3 of the women in the U.S. reported being physically or sexually abused by a husband or boyfriend at some point in a 1998 survey. That was the amount of women who reported the abuse. But how many didn't report it? And that was ten years ago. Now with the heightened stress of a bad economy even more women and teenage girls are likely to become victims of abuse.

Earlier this year, members of my family had to bury my cousin after she died at the hands of someone she had dated who did not agree that their relationship should end.

National Domestic Violence Hotline: (800) 799-SAFE (799-7233)

If you are an abuser or a victim, get help.

Domestic Violence Hits Home (Again)

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