Making Noise about a Quiet Issue
At Women's Fund we often say domestic violence is a "quiet" issue, not talked about out loud. While the tide has turned somewhat on this, it’s still an issue many of us don’t talk about – or think affects us. Maybe this is why I didn't even think about it much on a personal level until I began working at Women's Fund. Over the past two years, there have been "aha" moments where I learn more about this issue I hadn't come to know until more recently. Two recent experiences in particular have brought domestic violence closer to home for me.
The personal stories are those that I connect with. During a recent visit to a grantee organization, the issue of domestic violence became real as I met with a client whose abuser tracked her down during our meeting. Fortunately, the organization was there to help the client deal with and diffuse the situation. On a recent visit to another organization, I met a client who had been abused to the point of debilitating physical injury and had finally left, thanks largely to supportive intervention services provided by the organization.
Domestic violence statistics are shocking:
- Children witness 75% of all domestic violence incidents, causing them to suffer from anxiety, depression and poor school performance. (source: The Julian Center)
- In one year, domestic violence crisis lines in Indiana received more than 115,000 calls. (source: Indiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence)
- At least one in nine Indiana high school students report being physically abused by their partner. (source: Indiana State Department of Health 2007 Youth Risk Behavior Study)
- 25% of women have experienced domestic violence in her lifetime.
While the reality of domestic violence is difficult to swallow, I appreciate that I work for a place that is raising awareness for the issue, and supporting organizations and programs that do. I have been fortunate to get to know some of the organizations addressing domestic violence in central Indiana, and to see firsthand the important work of programs like Power of Girls, which helps raise awareness among teenage girls and their parents.
One in four women experiences domestic violence in her lifetime, so we all know someone who has experienced it directly, if not ourselves. Thanks for supporting Women's Fund's efforts to address this important issue, along with many amazing organizations in central Indiana. Now, let's make some noise about it!
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