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Lafayette Daily Advertiser - Guest Column - Friday, October 19, 2012

Domestic Violence is Real

You probably know a victim of domestic violence. You might not even realize that you know one, because that victim has likely never told you. Being a victim of domestic violence is still taboo in our country. We all know domestic violence is wrong. Many of us volunteer or donate to battered women's shelters. Law enforcement and our courts try to stop the offenders.


However, we still live in a culture that often wonders "Why doesn’t she just leave?" In a world where issues such as physical and mental illnesses are now open topics of conversation and commercials touting personal matters such as feminine hygiene run daily, domestic violence is often still the victim's dirty little secret. She is seen as weak, crazy or guilty by association. But think of how difficult it is to leave. These women are everyday Katrinas. Imagine leaving your abuser and losing your home, family, financial support, job and neighborhood. This is an epidemic which crosses all income classes. We must always recognize that it is never the victim's fault. We must make it OK for the victims to tell their stories and not feel ashamed.


Please support Faith House and its efforts to empower women to take control of their lives.


October is Domestic Violence Awareness month. Nearly one in three adult women experience at least one physical assault by an intimate partner during adulthood. A woman is battered every nine seconds. A husband, ex-husband, boyfriend, or ex-boyfriend kills almost 30 percent of all murdered women. Faith House is a private, nonprofit program for survivors of domestic violence and their children. Their 24-hour crisis hotline is 337-232-8954 or 1-888- 411-1333.


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