Domestic Violence Awareness Month

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Utah domestic violence numbers are higher than the national average.  The month of October is dedicated to bringing awareness to domestic violence.

If you ever have a loved one show you their palm with their thumb bent in front, and then close their fingers on top of their thumb, it’s a cry for help.

These hand motions are used to inform you that they are experiencing domestic abuse.  Reports show one in three women in the state of Utah will experience domestic violence in their lifetime.

An individual who will not be identified describes of their experience in a Facebook post.  It reads, “I was a victim of child sexual abuse.  Because of this, I’ve experienced body image issues, depression, anxiety, nightmares, disassociation, self-harmful ideation and more. I want to add my voice to all of those advocating for the necessary changes that need to happen to prevent these horrible things.”

The Utah Domestic Violence Coalition is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing support to victims and promoting prevention.  Domestic violence is often associated with physical or sexual abuse, but the Utah Domestic Violence Coalition explains how it’s much more than that.

“I do think that sometimes the term ‘domestic violence’ or ‘intimate premiere violence,’ people hear the violence part and think ‘well that’s not me then.'”

When asked why victims have a hard time leaving abusive situations Utah Domestic Violence Coalition explains that “it’s because they’re usually with someone who they love. It isn’t uncommon for someone to still have feelings of love towards somebody who’s abusive to them.”

“We want to be careful of victim blaming. Let’s focus on why that person is abusive and why don’t they stop being abusive.”

There are things we can do to help prevent domestic abuse.

The anonymous Facebook post continues with,”Talking openly about the harms and dangers of pornography.  Learn about and teach your family about consent and boundaries.  Educate and discuss healthy sexuality and appropriate behavior.  Learn of and be on the lookout for grooming and predatory behavior.  Trust yourself when you see something that makes you uncomfortable.”

If you feel you’re in a domestic violence situation, you’re not alone.  For more help, call the Utah 24-hour Sexual Violence Crisis Line at 1-800-421-1100.

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