October is Domestic Violence Month

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By The Staff

Let us take this time to recognize domestic violence month. Domestic Violence Month evolved from the “Day of Unity” in October 1981, to raise awareness of efforts to end violence against women and their children.

Domestic violence has become increasingly prevalent in modern culture.

What is domestic violence? It’s a behavior used by one person in a relationship to control the other. Partners can be married or not married; heterosexual, gay, or lesbian. They can live together, separated or simply dating.

The violence takes many forms and may happen all the time or every once in a while. Anyone can be a victim. Victims can be of any age, race, culture, sex, religion, employment or marital status. Domestic violence is perpetrated by, and on, both men and women, and occurs in same-sex and opposite-sex relationships.

Children in homes where there is domestic violence are more likely to be abused or neglected, most children in these homes know about the violence. Studies show even if a child is not physically harmed they may have emotional or behavioral problems.

Awareness of domestic violence differs from country to country and from era to era. Estimates are that only a third of cases of domestic violence are reported in the Unites States. According to the Center for Disease Control, domestic violence affects more than 32 million Americans.

More than 7 out of 10 Americans know someone who is or has been a victim, but somehow it still remains a taboo subject. This month take a stand and raise awareness. Get involved.

Did you know the startling facts of South Carolina, according to S.C. Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault (SCCADVASA?)

u 39 females were murdered by males in South Carolina in 2008, a total of 1.69 per 100,000.

u One of the female homicide victims was 18. 

u Of these victims, 19 were black, and 20 were white.

u For those homicides in which the victim to offender relationship could be identified, 97 percent of reported homicides (37 out of 38 identified) were murdered by someone they knew. 

u Of the homicide victims who knew their offenders, 65 percent (24 victims) were murdered by a male they knew.  This total was 66 percent (27 victims) in the previous report.

Let’s face domestic violence together, by talking openly about the subject.

Speak out against domestic violence when you see it. Call the police or National Domestic Violence Hotline to report domestic violence in your community.

You can show your support for domestic violence survivors by volunteering at or donating items to your local domestic violence shelter.

Domestic Violence should not happen to anyone! This month, put forth a life commitment of awareness. To find out more information on domestic violence contact SCCADVASA at 1-800-260-9293 or visit www.sccadvasa.org.

Kemesha Lowery is a project coordinator for Palmetto Citizens AgainstSexual Assault, serving Lancaster, Chester, and Fairfield counties.