October - Domestic Violence

October is designated as Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Domestic violence is still considered by many, an epidemic that affects people from all walks of life. No community, regardless of socio-economic status, religion, race, educational background, or nationality, is immune from domestic violence. Domestic Violence knows no boundaries.

According to the National Coalition against Domestic Violence:
  • One in 4 women will experience domestic violence in her lifetime.
  • There is an estimated 1.3 million women who are victims of physical assault by an intimate partner each year.
  • 85% of domestic violence victims are women.
  • Most cases of domestic violence are never reported to the police.
No one should live in fear of the person they love. If you or someone you know of is showing warning signs of abuse, know that there is help available and resources for everyone involved.
October National Domestic Violence Awareness Month
Break the Silence - Stop The Violence
Recognizing Abuse
Understand that there are different forms of abuse. Some examples are physical, sexual (a type of physical abuse), emotional, and economic/financial abuse. Recognizing abuse is the 1st step in getting help. Physical abuse is typically the most obvious form of abuse because outward signs are visible. Abuse that is considered psychological or emotional are not always as obvious. All forms of abuse can diminish a victim's self esteem, and lead to depression and a sense of helplessness. Abuse often occurs in a cycle or pattern of behavior and it becomes a very difficult situation to escape from.

Special Concerns
One of our biggest concerns has to do with children who grow up in households where domestic violence occurs. Children who grow up in abusive homes can also suffer many consequences from the abuse they witness within the family, even when they are not the intended target of the abuse.

Children may blame themselves, and resort to unhealthy and potentially dangerous behaviors. They may feel guilt, confusion, fear, or depression. This may lead to difficulties at school, and in relationships with other people. If you know of a child living in a home where abuse is occurring, please notify police or someone at the following hotlines.

For more information or to get help, please call:
  • National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-7233 (SAFE)
  • National Sexual Assault Hotline:1-800-656-4672
  • Lafayette YWCA: 1-765-742-0075
Signs of Abuse
Signs someone may be living in a physically abusive relationship with the offender.
  • Damages property when angry. (Punching a wall, kicking or throwing items)
  • Prevents a victim from calling a family member or friend.
  • Prevents a victim from leaving the residence when they want to.
  • Threatens violence and/or displaying a weapon to intimidate.
  • Becomes physical by pushing, slapping, or choking.
Signs someone may be in an emotionally abusive relationship with the offender.
  • Isolates the victim from family and friends or withholds a victim's basic needs.
  • Insults and criticizes a victim, calls them names, or embarrasses their victim in public.
  • Threatens to hurt a victim emotionally by hurting others physically.
  • "Stalks" a victim by demanding to know where they go and who they come into contact with.
  • Completely controls matter like finances or public appearances. Shows no trust.
Domestic Violence Cycle
Creating a Safety Plan
The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence suggests the following strategies if someone is in an abusive relationship.
  • Think of a safe room to go to when an argument begins. Avoid rooms without windows or a room like the kitchen where potential weapons might be found.
  • Make a list of safe people you can contact. Memorize important phone numbers.
  • Establish a code word or sign so that family members or friends know when to call for help.
  • Keep some change on hand if you need to use a pay phone.
  • Think about what you will say if your partner becomes violent.
Remember that everyone has the right the live without the constant threat of violence and abuse.

Please contact the Lafayette Police Department by calling 765-807-1200 if you have any questions about domestic violence. We can help find the resources to combat Domestic Violence.