Where do instances of domestic violence occur? The inner city? Rural areas? Certainly not in an affluent suburban neighborhood. Right?
Domestic violence happens everywhere. No social class, gender, race, or location is immune to this crime. When we try to pigeon-hole the issue by classifying it into one specific group, it leads people to dismiss it as not being their problem….when in reality it is everyone’s problem.
Suburban domestic violence often occurs behind closed doors. It is more common for people living in the suburbs to try to keep the abuse quiet. Victims are often more physically isolated, have a greater sense of shame and embarrassment, and although they may be financially secure, victims could be cut off from their own economic resources by a financially abusive partner.
Could the mother of your child’s play date be a victim of domestic abuse? Could the couple you sit next to during your child’s soccer game be in a volatile marriage? What about the pitcher’s dad at your son’s baseball game? Could he be abusing his wife?
Absolutely. Whether it is physical, verbal, psychological, financial, or sexual, we see domestic violence in the cities, suburbs, and rural areas.
Here is a Monroe County, New York statistic from 2013. Of the domestic violence reports made in 2013, 52% were in the City of Rochester and 48% were in the suburbs. (1)
Domestic violence happens everywhere. Once we realize that anyone could be experiencing abuse, we open ourselves up to becoming part of the solution. Let’s talk about abuse. Support our local domestic violence organizations. Call out rude behavior and teach our children to respect themselves and others. Offer assistance to an abuse victim, or just be there to listen. There are many little actions we can all take to curb domestic violence. We can all make a difference.
If you are in an abusive relationship, please reach out to your local domestic violence organization or call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 800-799-7233.
Remember, if we can help just one woman, we’ve done our job.
(1) Alternatives for Battered Women, 2nd Annual Domestic Violence Report to the Community, October 2014.
Please note: Alternatives for Battered Women is now called Willow Domestic Violence Center.