OSWEGO - Each year, in October, advocates, survivors and supporters recognize October as Domestic Violence Awareness Month (DVAM). DVAM campaigns have been used nationwide for decades as tools to raise awareness of the epidemic of domestic violence in the country, and to educate individuals on the impact and prevention of domestic violence in communities. By raising awareness and educating the community, it helps to shine light on the problem and creates a safe space where victims feel more comfortable coming forward, and more perpetrators are held accountable.
This October, Oswego County Opportunities (OCO) Service to Aid Families (SAF) is partnering with the National Network to End Domestic Violence (NNEDV) and other state and territorial coalitions across the nation to start a coordinated national conversation about domestic violence and how all can contribute to changing the narrative on this overshadowed topic.
Domestic violence is more prevalent than most realize. According to the Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence in NYS one in four women and one in nine men will experience severe forms of domestic violence in their lifetimes. Most domestic violence cases are never reported to the police, and 99% of women affected by domestic violence have little control over their finances making it incredibly challenging to escape the abuse. Anyone, regardless of gender, race, sexual identity or orientation, or socio-economic status, can become a victim of domestic violence. This year’s campaign theme, -Every1KnowsSome1, strives to highlight how common domestic violence is and that it is not only physical violence.
While it is a common belief that domestic violence is solely physical violence in an intimate partner relationship, domestic violence can take many forms and can be found in different types of relationships. For violence to be classified as domestic it must take place between individuals that reside in the same dwelling, meaning that someone can experience domestic violence from a roommate, family member, or an intimate partner. One of most common tactics of an abuser is financial abuse which can include, but is not limited to: not allowing the victim to work, deny or restrict access to a bank account, running up bills in the victim’s name giving them bad credit. Another frequently used tactic is emotional abuse. This can be seen as abuser calling the victim names, telling them that are wrong all the time, and treating the victim like they are inferior. Emotional abuse can leave the victim feeling afraid and helpless, giving them low self-esteem.
SAF is Oswego County’s sole domestic violence and rape crisis provider. SAF offers non-residential and residential services to victims and survivors, via the Crisis Hotline, and in-person. In 2020, SAF received 4,194 hotline calls from consumers, served over 500 people, and provided 2,841 night stays for 73 families in the domestic violence shelter. SAF offers a wide range of free community and professional trainings regarding the services that are offered and the realities of experiencing domestic violence. Contact SAF via the Crisis Hotline (315-342-1600) to learn more about the different trainings offered.
Throughout October, SAF will be sharing content on their social media channels to help raise awareness and educate the public on the complex dynamics of domestic violence. SAF will continue to spread awareness using their social media. Follow SAF on Facebook @ServicestoAidFamilies and Instagram @service_to_aid_families to participate in the awareness month activities.
Free and confidential help is available 24/7 individuals that are victims or survivors of sexual violence, domestic violence, dating violence, or stalking. Those seeking help call SAF’s Crisis Hotline at (315)-342-1600.