Thanksgiving is only a few days away, and many St. Louis residents are preparing for a day, or even a long weekend, full of festivities with the ones they love. However, during the holiday season it is important to remember that not every home is a happy home. Domestic violence may be a plague inside a home in your neighborhood, on your block, or right next door. Domestic abuse or accusations of abuse may exist right under your own roof.
Today is the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. The day marks the renewal of the pledges of the U.S. government and a number of organizations worldwide to fight gender-based violence.
Violence against women and girls is a widespread human rights issue, and this is why today is dedicated as a time to call attention to the need to end this violence.
In our corner of the world, violence against women and girls often takes place in a domestic setting. Of course, men and boys are also frequently the victims of domestic violence, and they should not be ashamed about seeking help. According to the Southeast Missourian, police in Missouri received 41,494 reports of domestic abuse in 2012. Nationwide, the federal government has reported that about 33 percent of women and 28 percent of men have been victims of domestic violence.
Victims of domestic violence – men or women – may be wise to talk to police and a skilled family law attorney about exiting the relationship safely. Securing a protective order is one tool that may be helpful.
Those who are involved in domestic abuse in any way, whether they are victims or whether they are accused of abuse, should consider seeking legal counsel in order to protect themselves and their rights.
Source: U.S. Department of State, “International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women and 16 Days of Activism,” Nov. 25, 2013