Purple ribbons. Purple bruises. Purple represents Domestic Violence Awareness Month. One of the most common questions we hear is “Why do they stay?” when referring to a victim of domestic violence. When it is an option, it is best for victims to escape their abusers. However, often abusers go to extremes to prevent the victim from leaving. In fact, leaving an abuser is the most dangerous time for a victim.
A victim’s reasons for staying are extremely complex and are based on the fear that their abuser will follow through with the threats they have used to keep them trapped: the abuser will hurt or kill the kids, win custody of the kids, harm or kill pets or others, ruin the victim financially…the list goes on. A recent study of intimate partner homicides found 20% of homicide victims were not the domestic violence victims themselves, but family members, friends, neighbors, persons who intervened, law enforcement responders, or bystanders.
Additional barriers to escaping a violent relationship include but are not limited to:
- Fear that the abuser’s actions will become more violent or lethal if the victim attempts to leave
- Knowledge of the difficulties of single parenting and reduced financial circumstances
- Unsupportive friends and family
- Lack of knowledge of or access to safety and support
- Fear of losing custody of the children if they leave or divorce or fear the abuse will hurt or even kill the children
- Religious or cultural beliefs and practices may not support divorce or separation
- Fear that homelessness may be their only option if they leave
- Lack of means to support themselves and/or their children financially or lack of access to cash, bank accounts, or assets
The list is goes on. Change does not happen without awareness and action. LCRC is doing the following to increase awareness during Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Please join us in learning more and spreading the word.
- Join us at M State in Detroit Lakes on October 18 to see The Clothesline Project
- Join us at the Washington Square Mall in Detroit Lakes on October 19 and 20 to view The Clothesline Project
- Like our Facebook page and share our posts
- Purchase purple iced or decorated baked goods at Central Market for your office, book club, study group, etc.
- Register for one of our Break the Silence Tours of our facility and programs
Together we can lead the change to create healthy relationships and healthy families for a healthy community.