October is Domestic Violence Prevention Month

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On October 11, the Fort Irwin community will gather for “A Walk to End Domestic Violence” led by the Commanding General, Brig. Gen. Jeff Broadwater. The walk begins at the Blue Track at 9 a.m.

The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence first held a “Day of Unity” in 1981 as a way to bring awareness to the issue of domestic violence.

It was the intent of the organization to bring together advocates across the nation who were trying to end the acts of violence sometimes directed at women and their children.

As the Day of Unity grew, it soon evolved into an entire week devoted to activities at the local, state and national level aimed at stopping domestic violence.

In 1989 the US Congress passed Public Law 101-112 establishing October as Domestic Violence Prevention Month.

Domestic violence is defined as “a pattern of abusive behavior in any relationship that is used by one partner to gain or maintain power and control over another intimate partner.  Domestic violence can be physical, sexual, emotional, economic, or psychological actions or threats of actions that influence another person. This includes any behaviors that intimidate, manipulate, humiliate, isolate, frighten, terrorize, coerce, threaten, blame, hurt, injure, or wound someone,” according to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence website.

Domestic violence can happen to anyone and can occur in any relationship, regardless of race, age, sexual orientation, religion or gender.

The effect of domestic violence travels beyond the abused and has great influence on all members of the family, friends, co-workers and the entire community. But the effect is especially hard on children.

Frequent exposure to violence in the home not only causes numerous social and physical problems, but also teaches children that violence is a normal way of life, increasing their risk of becoming society’s next generation of victims and abusers.