When it comes to domestic/intimate partner violence, spouse abuse or rape crisis intervention, there seem to be enough existing articles and theses written to paper the Grand Canyon. The information available is limitless. Not every piece substantiates others. As if that were not enough to bring confusion to us, the numbers are constantly changing. When I was a victim in the 80s, the standard was that 1 in 5 women would become a victim of domestic violence. Then it moved to 1 in 4. Today, most sources state the ratio is 1 in 3—that is a THIRD of all women. Folks, it appears the violence is winning! We simply must step up and make changes.
Then we look at the figures regarding sexual assault. Every 2 minutes someone becomes the victim of an attempted or successful rape, and that breaks down to 1 in 6 women. The startling statistic shared with me over the weekend sent me reeling. Young women in college are 4 times more likely to be raped—FOUR TIMES more likely. They are in college, young and not always aware of their surroundings. Most think they have life by the tail, and one of the last things they would consider is the fact they stand a high chance of being raped. Far too often those assaults come as a result of alcohol consumption, whether they are voluntarily partaking, or they are plied with the booze by their date. Date rape is on the rise. Rape is one of, if not the least reported crimes in our nation, and the chances of a rapist making it to jail are pretty slim. That in and of itself demoralizes a rape victim, and discourages them from being brave enough to speak out regarding the crime they endured. Again, folks, the perpetrators are winning.
I had a conversation that both humbled me and reassured me we are making a difference. I took a call from the mother of a young woman who is currently in the throes of domestic violence as a battered spouse. During a follow up phone call with the mom, she shared with me about a discussion with her daughter that took place after she spoke with me. She not only shared several of the links and much of the information available on the Blog and Victim Support pages of my website, but advised her daughter, “Whatever you do, it’s critical that you develop a safety plan and a safety code.” YES! Just to know that something as minimal as two or three blog posts and a website may play a big part in saving a life brought me such joy. She was applying what she had learned.
You see, we can have all the knowledge in the world, but without application, it is pretty much useless. It’s like having a sore muscle and a tube of liniment. You have the liniment, you even own the liniment, but until you apply the liniment, it is just taking up space, serving no purpose at all.
So, please go back and re-read some of these informative posts. Forward them to friends and family who might know someone who just maybe needs to hear statistics, information and encouragement. Let them know about www.orangeblossomwishes.com and the short, passionate blonde who simply sees herself as a fellow traveler, and is extending her hand to help those who may still be trapped in that tunnel of darkness. There is a light at the end, and it ain’t no train!
- Lent 5: Domestic violence (wordlily.com)
- Victims of Domestic Violence – Do You Have a Safety Code? (cshennecy.wordpress.com)
- When I Chose to Speak Out-Revisiting the Book (cshennecy.wordpress.com)