October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month

October 6, 2023

Survivors of domestic violence do not bring violence upon themselves. Violence in relationships occurs when one person feels entitled to assert power and control over their partner. In relationships where domestic violence exists, violence is not equal. Even if the survivor fights back or instigates violence to diffuse a situation. There is always one person who is the primary, constant source of power, control, and abuse in the relationship.

Perpetrators of abuse and domestic violence gain power and control over survivors in every way possible. They get to the point where they are controlling the survivor’s finances, social network, where they work, and how they spend their time. Perpetrators may monitor the person they are abusing’s cell phone and email communications as well as their internet activity. 

In 2022, Appleseed’s Safe Haven program responded to 950 survivors of domestic violence. Survivors sometimes struggle to leave the abuse. Some common reasons a person may choose to stay in an abusive relationship, include:

  • Fear cultural or community backlash for leaving.
  • Feel like they have nowhere to go or the ability to flee.
  • Fear they will not be able to support themselves.  
  • Have children in common with the abuser and fear for the children’s safety if they leave.
  • Have pets they don't want to leave.

Survivors of domestic violence are often told by their perpetrators that there is something wrong with them. This leaves the survivor feeling as though they don't deserve to be loved and treated well. The reality is we all are lovable, and we all deserve to be respected and cared for. 

Survivors of domestic violence need you to believe and support them. Appleseed’s Safe Haven program has a display moving around to various locations this month of silhouettes of the 10 Ashland County individuals who were killed by domestic violence perpetrators over the past few years. Each silhouette displays their story. 

In Ashland County and everywhere victims of domestic violence come from all walks of life, every age, background, education levels, economic levels, cultures, ethnicities, religions, all lifestyles. It is essential that we believe and support individuals in domestic violence situations. If you find yourself in a relationship like this, you are not alone, reach out for help. 

Call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 800-799-7233 or the Ashland County Safe Haven program at 419-289-8085. For more information, visit www.safehavenofashland.org.

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