Note: Technical limitations are preventing this week’s program from being available directly on the website. If you want to watch or download the program, click here: https://www.dropbox.com/s/0bz1jfb9z6omnrx/MOViewsDomesticViolence2014_HDTV_24_1080p.mp4
by Mike Ferguson
(Jefferson City, MO) – It reaches into more homes in more parts of our communities than many want to admit.
It impacts more women and, sometimes, men than many want to admit.
It also often goes unnoticed even when both the victim and the aggressor are in plain sight.
Domestic and sexual abuse is the focus on a statewide organization that wants to make sure everyone in Missouri is aware of it and is willing to be a part of ending it.
Colleen Coble is the Chief Executive Officer of the Missouri Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence. She says studies from law enforcement show a shocking frequency of abuse across the nation.
“One in three of us [women] will be victims of will be victims of domestic violence during the course of our lifespan.”
While that statistic may seem hard to believe, Coble explains that what is considered domestic abuse includes more than just the obvious physical assaults.
“That happens through verbal abuse, emotional coercion, certainly financial abuse, using children against your spouse or partner, damaging their prospects for employment or sabotaging their job, just about every aspect of your life can be a target for an abuser’s focus.”
She also cautions against thinking domestic abuse only happens in impoverished areas or within specific ethnic groups.
“It happens in every part of our community. It doesn’t matter what your education level, your income level, your ethnicity, your religion, your employment history. Abusers come from every walk of life as do victims.”
While resources are in place to help victims get protection and leave the abusive environment, Coble hopes we all realize we can be a part of the solution. To do that, she says, listen first to that inner voice that tells you something might be wrong in a friend’s, a relative’s or a coworker’s life and ask if there s something with which you can help.
Then listen to what they have to say.
“The most important thing is to show your concern, to listen, because very often that first question is going to be received as such a wonderful opportunity to say ‘I’ve really been struggling. I don’t know what to do.'”
Coble says that when there is immediate danger of physical abuse, the best thing to do is call 9-1-1.
In other cases, contact local resources that provide a variety of assistance to victims. You can find those in your county through MCADSV’s website.
On the web:
Missouri Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence: www.MOCADSV.org