You may not realize the significance and incidence of domestic violence:
· One in every four women (25%) will experience domestic violence in her lifetime.
· An estimated 1.3 million women are victims of physical assault by an intimate partner each year.
· 85% of domestic violence victims are women.
· Almost half the women murdered in NYS are killed by their intimate partner.
· Historically, females have been most often victimized by someone they knew.
· Females who are 20-24 years of age are at the greatest risk of nonfatal intimate partner violence.
· One in five teens experience some form of violence in their personal relationships.
· One in nine men is the recipients of domestic violence.
· Most cases of domestic violence are never reported to the police.
Each year in the United States, 4.8 million women suffer intimate partner related physical assaults and rapes and 2.9 million men are victims of physical assault from their partners.
Domestic violence thrives on silence. Abusers use power, control and fear tactics to keep their victims silent. You may wonder why PPHP is involved and believe domestic violence is a criminal matter, but you’d be wrong. According to the Centers for Disease Control, domestic violence is a serious, preventable public health problem. And one publication, Hidden Costs in Health Care: The Economic Impact of Violence and Abuse, makes the case that such exposure represents a serious and costly public health issue that should be addressed by the health care system.
For instance, pregnancy may be a vulnerable time. Abuse during pregnancy, whether physical, verbal or emotional, produces many adverse physical and psychological effects for both the mother and fetus. Abuse may be a long-standing problem in a relationship that continues after a woman becomes pregnant or it may commence in pregnancy. Domestic abuse can be triggered by pregnancy for a number of reasons. Pregnancy itself can be used as a form of coercion known as birth control sabotage, or reproductive coercion. Studies on the birth control sabotage by males against female partners indicate a strong correlation between domestic violence and birth control sabotage. Alternatively, pregnancy can lead to a hiatus of domestic violence when the abuser does not want to harm the unborn child. However, the risk of domestic violence for pregnant women is greatest immediately after childbirth.
As medical professionals, PPHP makes a difference in the lives of those who experience abuse. We empower people, give advice, and refer them to appropriate services, found below.
· Wear Purple: Wear a purple tie or purple ribbon, purple scrubs, purple scarf, purple t-shirt, purple sweater, purple anything. You can even dress up your companion animal in a purple bandana.
· Create a Purple Space: Set up a display table in a visible location with purple streamers, display posters, hand out purple ribbons, provide potentially life-saving information. [Check out the OPDV website for free material.]
· Purple Ribbon Campaign: Attach one purple ribbon to a tree, shrub, or structure in a visible location for each domestic incident report (DIR) filed with the police last year or one ribbon for each victim you helped.
· Websites: Update your website to include domestic violence information with links to resources and our Facebook page.
· Forums: Sponsor an awareness event at your school, sorority, fraternity, youth group, town hall, business, police department, worksite, coffee bar, wine bar, union hall, country club, salon, spa, community of faith, etc.
· Purple Fundraisers to Support Local DV Services: Accept donations for purple ribbons. Hold a scavenger hunt for purple items – call it the Hunt for Purple October. Host a party for neighbors and friends – serve purple food and drinks [eggplant, anyone]. Designate the proceeds to the domestic violence organization of your choice.
· Purple Lights: Shine purple lights on your home, business, a prominent structure or building.
Resources for Those Experiencing Domestic Violence:
NYS Domestic & Sexual Violence Hotline 1-800-942-6906 / 1-800-942-6908 Spanish
The National Domestic Violence Hotline 1-800-799-7233
The National Sexual Assault Hotline 1-800-656-4673
The National Teen Dating Abuse Hotline 1-866-331-9474
The Westchester Hispanic Coalition, Latina Sexual Assault Services HelpLine 1-855-252-7942
The Retreat (Easthampton, NY) Hotline 1-631-329-2200