Break the Silence of Domestic Violence

by Sara Manzano-Diaz on November 1, 2011 · 9 comments

October is a month that recognizes survivors of breast cancer and domestic violence.  A lesser-known awareness campaign, Domestic Violence Awareness Month is equally important to the safety of women who suffer from violence, often silently, in their homes.

National Domestic Violence Awareness Month is a time set aside to celebrate the survivors, to mourn those we’ve lost and to increase awareness about the realities of violence against women.

Domestic violence affects women of all ages, education levels and socioeconomic status. On average, three women die in the United States as a result of domestic violence each day and one in four women will experience domestic violence at some point in their life. Young women (age 16 to 24) are at an even higher risk, suffering the highest rates of domestic and sexual violence. In the last year, one in five young women reported being sexually assaulted while they were in college. Women are not even safe from violence at work since homicide is the second leading cause of death for women at work.

Let’s not forget about our nation’s 1.8 million women veterans, who often suffer in silence. Among women veterans of the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, nearly 20% have been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder. Even some cases go unreported due to the social stigma that often comes with disclosing abuse.

 Efforts to end violence against women have been a focus of the White House and the Department of Labor Women’s Bureau. From President Obama reauthorizing the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act , giving communities life-saving tools to help identify and treat child abuse or neglect to Vice President Joe Biden launching 1 is 2 Many  in September to honor the 17th anniversary of the Violence Against Women Act  that he authored in 1990.

The Department of Labor is committed to empowering, protecting and supporting women’s self-sufficiency in an effort to leave violence behind for good. The Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs enforces Executive Order 11246  which prohibits sexual harassment. And most recently, the  Women’s Bureau created  “Trauma-Informed Care for Women Veterans Experiencing Homelessness: A Guide for Service Providers” which helps organizations recognize how trauma from military experiences impacts the reintegration process for women veterans. We know there is more work to be done.

In President Obama’s National Domestic Violence Awareness Month 2011 proclamation, he called on all citizens to do their part to teach children about the importance of healthy, non-violent relationships.  It is time we come together as a community to help stop the violence by becoming role models for the next generation.  Together we can build communities of non-violence and prevent future violence.

Let’s break the cycle of silence on domestic violence and give a voice to women – and all victims.  Learn more about the Women’s Bureau and our priorities by visiting our website at www.dol.gov/wb/ .

Sara Manzano-Díaz is Director of the U.S. Department of Labor’s Women’s Bureau.

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Rosemary Taylor November 3, 2011 at 3:25 pm

This an very important subject. Thee more awareness that is made to the movement
of violence towards women and now our male population also, maybe more of us will
not remain silence voices.

2 Betty Currington November 3, 2011 at 8:09 pm

I to am a subject to abuse,Who would have thought it.

3 Wilma Harris-Merritt November 4, 2011 at 11:41 am

Verbal assault is just as harmful as physical assault especially to children.

4 Wilma Harris-Merritt November 4, 2011 at 11:43 am

Verbal assault is harmful to children.

5 Didar November 4, 2011 at 11:48 am

Domestic violence is surely a serious issue in US society. I thank Mr. President to address on this.

Now, I feel that there is a strong relation between financial freedom and domestic violence. When people get troubles balancing their daily needs they might become more fragile and aggressive.

What do you guys think?

6 Mary Lee Hafley November 7, 2011 at 12:15 pm

You’re right — financial abuse is real and powerful in an abuser’s efforts to control his victim. With no access to funds even when she earns them, women feel helplessly tied to their batterer. Domestic Violence Awareness Month shouldn’t be “lesser known”. It effects one in three women in her lifetime. There are organizations in every state, like SafeHaven in Fort Worth/Arlington, TX area, ready to help women find safety and develop a plan for the future. Contact the National Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 to get connected to help today.

7 Bernadette C Daniel December 8, 2011 at 11:55 pm

To stop domestic violent , and child abuse the gorvernement need to always checking on men behavior. Because the abuse not only happen in the sector 0f poor community. Some professional who have a bad background , they are the wrost abusive. For example male teachers.

8 motherhood maternity December 27, 2011 at 6:27 am

I am a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and have to shout alleluia! It is exciting to know that consolidation and strategic plans are up and running. My mentor Ellen Stevens graduated with an MSW from Stony Brook in the mid 80′s. Before her MSW she was a rural Registered Nurse working for the county. When Ellen spoke to me with such enthusiasm and excitement after her graduating that she was starting the next week in an HIV clinic in New York City. For her, it wasn’t the money…no…rather what population was the most fragile and required the most attention. In 1995 I graduated with an MSW and remain inspired by Ellen. Thank you USA for being there.
mike

9 takoua January 2, 2012 at 6:57 am

Happy new year to all of you and may all your wishes come true during this new year

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