Home is often considered a safe place away from the outside world, but unfortunately, this is not the case for some people. Millions of men and women face violence or abuse at home, so National Domestic Violence Awareness Month tries to connect advocates with survivors of domestic violence to speak out against domestic violence.
The month of October is dedicated to recognizing unhealthy relationships, understanding the resources for a person dealing with intimate partner violence, and how to facilitate the kind and loving relationship each person deserves. For some, domestic violence may be very physical, such as hitting, kicking, or punching. Domestic violence can also take less apparent forms, like humiliation, stalking online or in-person, isolation from other loved ones, financial abuse and control, and emotional manipulation.
With 1 in 3 women, and 1 in 4 men being affected by violence caused by an intimate partner in their life, this is an issue that faces many. Whether an advocate, survivor, or an ally, each person has a role to play in preventing domestic violence.
How You Can Help Prevent Domestic Violence
Here are three key things a person can do to help someone they love if they believe they are a survivor of domestic violence.
- Know the Signs – the best way to help is to know what to look for, whether the abuse is physical, emotional, financial, or mental. With many resources available, a person can understand the basics to what domestic violence can look like in a variety of situations so they can be an ally to a friend going through this type of violence.
- Be Available – whether in person, over the phone, or at work, being present and available to talk about a person’s relationship can help a person involved in a violent relationship know they are not alone. It’s important not to make someone talk about a violent relationship or force them to immediately leave their abuser, but simply being there for someone in this situation can give them comfort, hope, and support during a difficult time.
- Be a Resource – sometimes, those experiencing violence may not be able to research ways to get out of their relationship because of a controlling partner, so a great way to help someone in this situation is to be there and ready to develop an escape plan or find information about nearby shelters, resources, or legal practices. This may seem like a small step, but it could be the difference in someone staying or leaving a violent relationship.
How Our Firm is Stepping Up
At Schoonmaker, George, Colin, Blomberg, Bryniczka & Welsh, P.C., we understand that we have a vital role to play as advocates and allies to survivors of domestic violence in and around our community. Founding partner Thomas Colin has particular expertise in the handling of cases involving domestic violence allegations as a result of his experience as a Connecticut Superior Court Judge presiding over the dedicated Domestic Violence Docket in the Stamford criminal court. While our legal expertise can be invaluable to those looking for freedom or legal protection from an abusive partner, we also understand that we can support other community members who are playing a role to raise awareness about domestic violence.
This year, we sponsored the YWCA of Darien/Norwalk as they hosted their Week Without Violence event to raise awareness about domestic violence and raise funds to support the organization’s mission driven programming. Our very own partner, Aidan R. Welsh, is the Board President of this organization and was instrumental in bringing the community together to support this worthwhile and noteworthy cause. Through the sale of luminary kits, the YWCA and its sponsors, which we are proud to be a part of, shed light on the issue of domestic violence in our area, as well as the resources for allies and advocates to use to fight against intimate partner violence in Connecticut.
If you or someone you know is looking for support for their domestic violence prevention work, or if you would like to pursue legal aid against an abusive partner, we could be of help. Our team of legal advocates not only cares about the safety and wellbeing of our clients, but we understand that our community needs our support. During the month of October, we support the survivors who have dealt with, or may be dealing it, domestic violence, and we look forward to continuing the mission of making home a safe place for everyone.