October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and Helpmate has set up a display in the YWCA lobby. The display includes shirts from the Clothesline Project, and tables full of shoes representing people who have died from domestic violence. “The Clothesline Project is a visual display of shirts with graphic messages and illustrations that have been designed by women survivors of violence, or by friends and/or families of surviors.” The shoes are also a powerful visual respresentation of victims of domestic violence. Next to each pair of shoes is a card with a photo of the victim listing their name, age when they died, and their relationship to their murderer. Helpmate makes this call to action:
Together, we can send the message that domestic violence is not acceptable.
Together, we can create a model for peace on earth.
Together, we can build a strong foundation of care and support,
so that today’s victims can stand tall as tomorrow’s survivors.
Here are some facts from Helpmate’s website:
- Nearly one-third of American women (31 percent) report being physically or sexually abused by a husband or boyfriend at some point in their lives, according to Commonwealth Fund survey. (The Commonwealth Fund, Health Concerns Across A Woman’s Lifespan: The Commonwealth Fund 1998 Survey of Women’s Health, May 1999.)
- In the United States, domestic violence crimes account for up to 40 percent of all calls to police. (“Equality Denied. The Status of Women in Policing.” National Center for Women and Policing, 1999.)
- Domestic violence is both a national and worldwide crisis. According to a 2000 UNICEF study, up to half the female population of the world become victims of domestic violence. (“Domestic Violence Against Women and Girls”, UNICEF, June 1, 2000)
- On average, more than three women are murdered by their husbands or boyfriends in this country every day. (Bureau of Justice Statistics Crime Data Brief, Intimate Partner Violence, 1993-2001, February 2003.)
- Women are 7 to 14 times more likely than men to report suffering severe physical assaults from an intimate partner. (National Institute of Justice and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Prevalence, incidence, and Consequences of Violence Against Women: Findings from the National Violence Against Women Survey, November 1998.)
- Over 30% of Americans are acquainted with a woman who has suffered violence from her male partner. (Family Violence Prevention Fund and the Advertising Council, 1998. Approximately 4 million women suffer domestic violence each year. U.S. Department of Justice Statistics, May 2000.)
- Most evidence suggests that incidents of domestic violence often go unreported, meaning that in reality, these numbers could all be much higher. (The American Medical Association, 1998)
- Approximately one in five female high schools students reports being physically and/or sexually abused by a dating partner. (Dating Violence Against Adolescent Girls and Associated Substance Use, Unhealthy Weight Control, Sexual Risk Behavior, Pregnancy, and Suicidality, Journal of the American Medical Assoc., Vol. 286, No. 5, 2001)