October is a month for many events and awarenesses but one in particular, and I feel is one of the most important, is Domestic Violence Awareness Month.
Although it’s recognized in February, I’d like to focus on Teen Dating Violence Awareness:
Does your partner:
- Embarrass you with put-downs?
- Look at you or act in ways that scare you?
- Control what you do, who you see or talk to or where you go?
- Stop you from seeing your friends or family members?
- Take your money or Social Security check, make you ask for money or refuse to give you money?
- Make all of the decisions?
If you are in immediate danger, please:
- Call 911.
- Contact your local hotline.
- Contact a national hotline:
- Call the U.S. National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-7233 (SAFE) or TTY 1-800-787-3224.
- Call, text or chat Love Is Respect—the U.S. National Teen Dating Violence Helpline: 1-866-331-9474 or TTY 1-866-331-8453, text “loveis” to 77054 or live chat at http://www.loveisrespect.org.
- Call the U.S. National Sexual Assault Hotline: 1-800-656-4673 (HOPE), which automatically connects you to a local U.S. rape crisis program based on the area code of your phone number. Secure, online private chat is available at https://ohl.rainn.org/online/.
How Can I Help?
Acknowledge that he or she is in a very difficult and scary situation. Let your friend or family member know that the abuse is not their fault. Reassure him or her that they are not alone and that there is help and support out there.
Be supportive. Listen to your friend or family member. Remember that it may be difficult for him or her to talk about the abuse. Let him or her know that you are available to help whenever they may need it. What they need most is someone who will believe and listen to them.
Be non-judgmental. Respect your friend or family member’s decisions. There are many reasons why victims stay in abusive relationships. He or she may leave and return to the relationship many times. Do not criticize his or her decisions or try to guilt them. He or she will need your support even more during those times.
Encourage him or her to participate in activities outside of the relationship with friends and family.
For more domestic violence referral information, domestic violence programs, abuse shelter locations, statistic information, and the tips on what to do in an abusive relationship, please follow the links below.
The 24 Hour Crisis Hotline for Baltimore City/Baltimore County/Carroll County is 410-828-6390.
FOLLOW ME ON TWITTER/INSTAGRAM @KIKIBROWN92Q