October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month

October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and it’s time to spotlight this ignored private matter.

Let’s take this 4-day old story: LAPD Detectives concluded Johnny Lewis murdered 81-year-old Catherine Davis. His violence had been escalating from petty theft to burglary to assault with a deadly weapon to, finally, murder.

The creator of Lewis’s most recent stardom, Kurt Sutter of Sons of Anarchy, said “I wish I could say that I was shocked by the events last night, but I was not.” And his friends and costars were not entirely surprised either.

And, there it is, the problem with Domestic Violence: the post-burial admissions of who knew the murderer was capable of murder freely whispered as all are equally guilty for silent inaction. No one wants to be That Person, and yet we all need to be That Person.

Consider this person, and the courage it took for her to stand up against a potential act of violence. Instead of being afraid of offending her boyfriend, this teenager told authorities what she feared and stopped a senseless act of violence. She wasn’t worried about him hating her for violating his trust, she was worried about the people who would suffer if she stayed silent.

Domestic Violence is grossly under-reported. Victims of DV may experience 4 common categories of abuse: physical, sexual, emotional, and financial. Victims of DV may only report 2 of the 4 common categories of abuse: physical and sexual (and sexual isn’t always an acceptable report). Victims may only report 50% of the abuse, and statistics estimate that only 50% of those are actually reported. That’s a whole helluva lot of silence. And guess what? You already know someone you can protect by voicing your concerns before the coroner takes a liver temp.

Take Action. Ask. Listen. Get help.

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