1 in 4 women…

Many know and participate in pink clad festivities during October to raise awareness around breast cancer. It’s staggering to know that one in eight women will develop invasive breast cancer during her lifetime. Did you also know that October is domestic violence awareness month and that one in four women will experience domestic violence in her lifetime? Unfortunately both cancer and abuse can be silent killers, one because of detection and the other because of fear.

Domestic violence is a pattern of behavior used to establish power and control over another person through fear and intimidation, often including the threat or use of violence. We should all be concerned about domestic violence, domestic abuse, spousal abuse, battering, family violence and intimate partner violence because it creates violence in our communities and negatively impacts our children. You may be surprised to know that children are present during nine of out ten domestic disputes. They are more likely to have health problems, including becoming sick more often, having frequent headaches or stomachaches, and being more tired and lethargic. Thirty to sixty percent of children raised in violent homes are also abused or neglected, especially those who intervene to protect the parent being attacked. More often than not help is not received because the abuse goes undetected or unreported, which invites the cycle of violence to continue into the next generation. Female children who do not receive help are more likely to experience abuse as teenagers and adults, while male children are far more likely to become abusers of their partners and/or children as adults.

Domestic violence and abuse can happen to anyone, regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, income, or other factors. There may be people you chat with everyday that are experiencing abuse or are survivors of abuse and you wouldn’t even know. As members of the Cayman Islands community we need to be informed and address what we see to schools or RCIPS in order to make the change. You can find more information at www.nnedv.org.

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