Nurses Notes – October 2019

So, there are like a bazillion health observances for October. It’s hard to narrow them down to fit on this page, so I may save some for a month that’s more slow.

October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month. And yes, it is your business, and yes it does happen in our small rural area. Domestic violence is a pattern of learned behavior in which one person uses physical, sexual, and emotional abuse to control another person.

Domestic violence is not a family matter. It is a crime, and it is in Michigan. The Michigan State Police Crime in Michigan publication tells us there were 91,004 reported victims and 105 reported murders related to domestic violence in 2017.  Domestic and family violence include a range of abuse including economic, physical, sexual, emotional, and psychological toward children, adults, and elders.

Intimate partner violence includes stalking, sexual and physical violence, and psychological aggression by a current or former partner. In the United States, as many as one in four women and one in nine men are victims of domestic violence. Domestic violence is thought to be underreported. Domestic violence affects the victim, families, co-workers, and community. It causes diminished psychological and physical health, decreases the quality of life, and results in decreased productivity.

Children who are victims or witness domestic and family violence may believe that violence is a reasonable way to resolve a conflict. Males who learn that females are not equally respected are more likely to abuse females in adulthood. Females who witness domestic violence as children are more likely to be victimized by their spouses. While females are often the victim of domestic violence, the gender roles can be reversed.

Domination may include emotional, physical, or sexual abuse that may be caused by an interaction of situational and individual factors. This means the abuser learns violent behavior from their family, community, or culture. They see violence and are victims of violence.

Forty percent of domestic violence victims never contact the police.

Of female victims of domestic homicide, 44% had visited a hospital emergency department within 2 years of their murder.

In the United States, an average of 20 people experience intimate partner physical violence every minute. This equates to more than 10 million abuse victims annually.

1. 1 in 4 women and 1 in 9 men experience severe intimate partner physical violence, intimate partner contact sexual violence, and/or intimate partner stalking with impacts such as injury, fearfulness, posttraumatic stress disorder, use of victim services, contraction of sexually transmitted diseases, etc.

2. This is commonly considered “domestic violence”. 1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men have experienced some form of physical violence by an intimate partner. This includes a range of behaviors and in some cases might not be considered “domestic violence”.

3. 1 in 7 women and 1 in 25 men have been injured by an intimate partner.

4. 1 in 10 women have been raped by an intimate partner. Data is unavailable on male victims.

5. 1 in 7 women and 1 in 18 men have been stalked. Stalking causes the target to fear she/he/they or someone close to her/him/them will be harmed or killed.

6. On a typical day, domestic violence hotlines nationwide receive over 20,000 calls.

7. An abuser’s access to a firearm increases the risk of intimate partner femicide by 400%.

8. Intimate partner violence accounts for 15% of all violent crime.

9. Intimate partner violence is most common against women between the ages of 18-24.

10. 19% of intimate partner violence involves a weapon.

Call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233.) Call toll free, 24 hours a day, anywhere in the U.S. Trained counselors provide confidential crisis intervention, support, information and referrals to local programs to victims of domestic violence, their families and friends. The hotline links people to help in their area, including shelters, legal and social assistance programs. Help in English and Spanish with interpreters available in 139 more languages.

If you need help, please see me or Pastor Michael. We will listen.

Christy Friedel, R.N.,
Parish Nurse, Spiritual Director

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