October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month. This is a time to raise awareness about domestic violence, honor the strength of victims and survivors who have endured this, and work to stop the violence from continuing.
Domestic violence is defined by the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence as a pattern of behavior used to establish power and control over another person through fear and intimidation, often including the threat or use of violence. In 2013, there were 108,030 domestic violence reports to law enforcement. Of these, 1,588 were forcible rape offenses, 701 were stalking offenses, and a 170 resulted in murder. Domestic violence can occur anywhere and to anyone regardless of socio-economic status, gender, race, sexual orientation, etc. It is a crime of manipulation that anyone can fall prey to. Not only is a victim in physical danger, but face emotional damage as well.
It is important to recognize signs of domestic violence to be able to combat against it. These can include: utilizing the threats or intimidation to gain control, being mentally abusive, controlling what a person does or where they go, isolating a person from family or friends, displaying jealous behavior, controlling family finances and access to medical insurance; someone who threatens to have the victim arrested, deported, or baker acted, destroys property, minimizes behavior and blames victim for it, utilizes weapons to threaten the victim, or forces a person to engage in unwanted sexual acts,
Whether you are a victim of domestic violence or know someone who is, the following numbers are resources that can help:
Miramar Police Department Victim Services Unit: (954) 602-4130
Women in Distress (domestic violence center and shelter): (954) 761-1133
National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-7233
National Domestic Violence Hotline (tty): 1-800-787-3224
To learn about events in Broward County to honor National Domestic Violence Awareness Month, please contact the Miramar Police Department Victim Services Unit or Women in Distress.