November 25 is the United Nations Day for Elimination of Violence Against Women.
(I wish that I can post the link to my article about domestic violence that was printed today but that section of the paper has to be subscribed to.)
Instead, I am posting a few facts and statistics:
• The World Health Organization estimates that at least one out of every three women around the world has been beaten, coerced into sex, or otherwise abused in her lifetime - with the abuser usually someone known to her. That is one billion women.
• It is estimated that, worldwide, one in five women will become a victim of rape or attempted rape in her lifetime.
• Up to 70 per cent of women experience violence in their lifetime.
• Women aged 15-44 are more at risk from rape and domestic violence than from cancer, car accidents, war and malaria.
I visited a shelter in the center of Israel. An amazing lady called Ruth Rasnic founded it in 1978. The organization now runs three shelters for abused women and their children. The Ministry of Welfare estimates that 200,000 women in Israel face domestic violence, but others feel that the number is much higher (unreported incidences). Ruth Rasnic was kind enough to give me a wealth of information about domestic violence, and I’m sharing a small amount of it here with you.
Domestic violence is such a big subject, involving so many things. But in this short article, I want to mention a few things that women should be aware of.
Domestic violence is not about being a weak or bad woman, and it is definitely NOT her fault. It is about a man’s need for control and power.
Abuse is not just physical. Women can be put down in so many ways, and it’s good to be aware of the different types of abuse.
It comes in four forms:
PHYSICAL: starts with a slap, and goes on to punching with the fist, then kicking, breaking limbs, and threats of killing the woman or the children, or threats of violence by someone else.
FINANCIAL: the man controls the income and expenditures of the household, and often the woman is left with no money. This is a very common type of abuse.
VERBAL / EMOTIONAL / PSYCHOLOGICAL: insults and name calling, such as bitch, slut, stupid, useless; and threats.
SEXUAL: often used as a bartering chip; man paying his partner for sex, or depriving her of money unless she gives him sex; as a result she feels like a prostitute.
Many abused women have seen their mothers’ abused and believe that all men are violent. Shame of a failed marriage, guilt, the children, and the woman’s family not wanting to care for their daughter and her children usually are reasons that women cite for not leaving their partners.
But there are those who leave, and then are fooled by his crocodile tears, apologies and promises that it will not happen again, and they end up returning – only to face the abuse again. Upon their return the abuse escalates.
Suicide attempts are frequent amongst battered women, as are miscarriages and deliveries of deformed babies.
The above is just a little bit of information. If YOU or SOMEONE you know is a victim of abuse at the hands of a partner, PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE get help.
The shame of abuse does not lie with the woman; it lies with the man. Don’t be afraid to speak out, or rather, SHOUT OUT FOR HELP. Your life just might be at stake.
Please do not allow yourself or someone you love to become a statistic.