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October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month

Couple Arguing
Couple Arguing
Getty Images_Jack Star/PhotoLink

The National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233)

The National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673)

The month of October is designated as the National Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Domestic and sexual violence are significant concerns in the United States. defines domestic violence and emotional abuse as behaviors used by one person in a relationship to control the other. The website offers examples of abuse including the following:

  • name-calling or putdowns
  • keeping a partner from contacting their family or friends
  • withholding money
  • stopping a partner from getting or keeping a job
  • actual or threatened physical harm
  • sexual assault
  • stalking
  • intimidation

Although not all forms of abuse are considered a criminal offense, such as financial or psychological abuse, they can lead to physical and sexual violence.

In the United States, approximately one in 4 women are beaten or raped by a partner during adulthood (U.S. Department of Justice, National Institute of Justice and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2000) and each year approximately 2.3 million people are raped and/or physically assaulted by a current or former intimate partner (National Institute of Justice and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2000).

Although sexual violence is more common in women with one in 6 women experiencing an attempted or completed rape, one in 33 men have experienced this type of assault (U.S. Department of Justice, Prevalence, Incidence, and Consequences of Violence Against Women: Findings from the National Violence Against Women Survey, 1998).

Another frightening statistic is that on average, three women are killed by a current or former intimate partner every day in the United States (Bureau of Justice, 2001).

The New York State Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NYSCADV) is a non-profit organization that works to eradicate domestic violence through community outreach, training, education, technical assistance and policy development. In New York State, there were over 50,000 reported cases of domestic violence in 2006 (NYSCADV, 2006). There were 2,088 forcible rapes reported in New York State in 2006 (U.S. Department of Justice, 2005). These numbers are likely grossly lower than the actual number of incidents of domestic violence and forcible rapes due to underreporting.

The Executive Director for the New York Sate Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence stated that “New York State is somewhat unique in having an executive-level state agency dedicated solely to the issue of domestic violence. Our office works collaboratively both with the State Coalition and our partner State agencies to ensure that a recognition and response to domestic violence is integrated into all of the work of the State" (2006).

If you are involved in an abusive relationship, or you know someone who is, please know that you are not alone and there are resources available. For help getting connected to local resources, please get to a safe place and call one of the numbers listed below.

Local WNY Resources

YWCA of Niagara

32 Cottage Street
Lockport, NY 14094
Phone: 716.433.6714
Local Domestic Violence Hotline: 716.433.6716

New York State Resources

New York State Coalition Against Domestic Violence Hotline- 1-800-942-6906

National Hotlines

The National Domestic Violence Hotline - 1-800-799-SAFE

The National Sexual Assault Hotline - 1-800-656-HOPE

For more information about Domestic Violence:


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