Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Utah Specific Statistics

Utah’s domestic violence statistics are very high compared to other states. Utah is famous for its natural landscape, friendliness and strict alcohol laws. Are these statistics then a surprise? Is this shocking or not? Quoting directly from Attorneys at Law, Phillips and Skidmore, here are Utah’s numbers on domestic violence:
Today, there are approximately 1,905 domestic violence shelters dispersed across the United States, in 2013 87 percent of these shelters participated in the National Census of Domestic Violence Services. This Census survey compiled national and statewide statistics.
Out of the 17 shelters in Utah, all 17 participated in the survey. The survey uncovered that on a single day in the state of Utah

            -614 victims came to emergency shelters
            -234 victims received non-shelter support
            -190 victims called support hotlines 

If these numbers seem low, keep in mind that Utah has a population of about 2,855,000 people. Arkansas is slightly ahead, with a population of roughly 2,949,000 people. Yet Arkansas’ results in the same survey:

            -333 victims came to emergency shelters
            -181 victims received non-shelter support
            -150 victims called support hotlines

While Arkansas is roughly identical to Utah in size – in fact it’s a little larger – only half as many people in Arkansas had to seek out shelters as those in Utah. 

Over the past five years, the number of victims who are housed in private shelters has shot up by 41 percent. In 2008, 76,767 Utahans spent the night in shelters. By 2012, that number had risen to 108,377. 

You might expect such bloated figures from a densely packed state like California or New 
York, but sparsely populated Utah? Utah, which only ranks #35 for population by state? 

There is no one reason researchers can find as to why these numbers so high. Awareness is the first step in getting these numbers lower in the year(s) to come.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Marriage Statistics

The difference between domestic violence and normal conflict in a relationship is that conflict is part of every intimate relationship. It eventually cannot be avoided, but it is normal. Domestic violence, however, does not belong in healthy relationships. It is not normal for one partner to be abusive towards the other partner or family.

Here are some facts on domestic violence and marriages, according to www.foryourmarriage.org and the Huffington Post: 

-“Three to four million women in the United States are beaten in their homes each year by their husbands, ex-husbands or male lovers. One woman is beaten by her husband or partner every 15 seconds.” (this equates to about 1.3 million women)

-The number of women throughout the United States who report intimate partner abuse is one in four. 

-Estimated number of children worldwide who are exposed to domestic violence every day: 10 million

-Intimate partner violence makes up 20 percent of all nonfatal violent crime experienced by women. 

-The number of men who report intimate violence is one in seven.

-The percentage of women who report being strangled by a spouse in the past year: 33 to 47.3 (this abuse often does not leave physical signs, so the numbers are harder to come across)

-The average number of times an abuser hits a spouse before a police report is filed is 35. 

No one deserves to be in this type of relationship. A relationship is meant to be a place of happiness and solitude, and one should not feel threatened by their intimate partner. If you are in this type of situation, do not forget that it is never too late to get out and find true happiness.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Upcoming Events: Yard Sale and 5K-Do Not Miss These!

Do you want to get involved in the Salt Lake Area Domestic Violence Coalition? Well, if you do then you are in luck. There are currently two upcoming events that are taking place throughout May.

The first is the yard sale. The Coalition is currently collecting items and services as donations. It will take place on Saturday May 17, 2014 from 8 a.m. and continuing on until 1 p.m. that afternoon. The location will be 1930 West 7800 South in West Jordan. All of the proceeds of the sale will be used to raise awareness for domestic violence. Please do not hesitate to donate physical items, monetary value or services if you are interested. No donation or service is ever “too little,” and every bit counts. Contact April Ensign if you would like to donate at 801-944-7042 or at AEnsign@cottonwoodheights.utah.gov. Apart from donating, make sure to stop by that day for a browse of some incredible items to purchase. 

The Coalition and the Utah PTA have teamed up to organize the Healthy Relationships 5K to be held on Saturday May 31, 2014 at Liberty Park (589 East 1300 South) in Salt Lake City. The Grizzlies mascot will be there along with an amazing band and dancers. The local businesses who are supporters are Café Rio, Inside and Out Cosmetics, Salt Lake Running Company, Utah Grizzlies, eBay, Hawthorne Suites, Planned Parenthood, IHC Hospitals, Spackle Car Wash, Paradise Bakery and Dunkin Donuts.

People of all ages are welcome to go, walkers included. All proceeds will be used to raise awareness for Healthy Relationships in our local schools. Registration is currently under way online at http://www.utahpta.org/stepping-healthy-relationship-5k-registration. You may also visit the 5K Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/steppingup5k.  

The 5K check-in will start at 8 a.m. and the race will start at 9 a.m. It is $25 for adults and $15 for teens. There are 12 categories for winners, each winner will walk away with a metal and Grizzlies Fan Fun 4 Pack. We hope to see everyone there! It is not something to be missed!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Portrayal of Domestic Violence in the Media

There was a time when domestic violence was not sought-after in the media as much as it is today. It was not a thing to report on a daily basis. It wasn’t until relationships with high-profile status seemed to crumble because of domestic violence that the world took note.  It was generally on television on movies and not on news. www.domesticviolence.pbworks.com sums it up when it says:

The representation of domestic violence in the visual media is no longer a thing seen only on so-called “women’s channels” such as Lifetime network or subjected to daytime talk shows. The topic of domestic violence has been showcased on the small screen through reality shows such as Cops, made-for-television movies such as The Burning Bed, and even primetime television shows such as the popular ER, NYPD Blue, and Six Feet Under. DV has also been the main topic focused on the big screen with Hollywood movies such as Sleeping with the Enemy (Julia Roberts), What’s Love Got To Do With It (Angela Bassett) and Enough (Jennifer Lopez). Although many critics focus on the never ending public outrage over the amount and content of media violence stating that there is too much and it is too graphic, many believe that if used effectively, the media could responsibly enlighten and educate the public about societal issues.

Technology and social media has helped led this cause into the mainstream media. People are now able to set the tone for what is trending through the use of Facebook and Twitter. With the ability to record and take pictures instantly on cellular devices and then upload those to social media, news of this violence has a higher chance of getting noticed.

Consequently, it seems that the public has become more outraged over hearing domestic violence abuse cases or stories. An example recently is that of former Olympian Oscar Pistorius and girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp. Can you think of any other domestic violence stories that have broken through the media recently? 

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Resources Around SLC

 When it comes to resources, where is a good place to start? What types of categories are there? To narrow it down a little, one of the most important categories are state and local programs.

State and local programs can come in many different sizes and follow an array of services offered. These types of centers offer much-needed help to those who seek it. According to uwsl.bowmansystems.com (which will list centers geographically is the Salt Lake Area is not what you are looking for) CLD3 Counseling located at 352 South Denver Street (440 E) in Salt Lake City provides counseling for a variety of services that include domestic violence and women’s domestic violence. The number for this center is (801) 521-4227.

The Domestic Violence Information Line provides a 24-hour telephone information and referral line specifically designed for domestic violence issues. This service also “maintains a database of shelters and safe-houses, licensed domestic violence treatment programs, victim advocate programs and local domestic violence coalitions throughout Utah.” The number for this line is (800) 897-5465. This is a great resource and should be used efficiently.

Changes Counseling in Sandy is one that is not to be overlooked. Located at 8221 South 700 East in Sandy, it “provides treatment for court-ordered clients and others seeking drug and alcohol counseling or mental health treatment. Provides individual and group counseling and educational workshops for children, adolescents, adults and seniors.” The number for this counseling center is (801) 542-7060.

One last center is the YWCA Women in Jeopardy located on 322 East 300 South in Salt Lake City. The hotline is (801) 537-8600 and the regular phone number is (801) 355-2804. This should be utilized by women who are needing that extra help on any of the issues previously mentioned.

I have highlighted these four centers and help-lines, but in reality there are innumerable options. I could not have touched base on all of them, but they are out there. Every major and semi-major city in Utah has shelters and resources for all victims of domestic violence to take advantage of. 

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Defining Different Types of Violence

How many different types of violence is there? Are they all dealing with domestic violence? According to www.womenshealth.gov, the different types of violence against women are as follows:

            -Dating violence
            -Domestic and intimate partner violence (also referred to as relationship violence) 
            -Emotional abuse
            -Violence against immigrant and refugee women
            -Violence against women at work or women with disabilities
            -Sexual assault
            -Human trafficking

Oftentimes when women (and in some instances men) are the victims of violence it is not from a stranger. “Most often they are hurt by people who are close to them, such as a husband or partner. Whether you are attacked by a stranger or mistreated by a partner, violence and abuse can have terrible effects. You can get help from any physical and emotional problems.”

We can be more specific when it comes to domestic violence. Outlined below are the three main types of domestic violence:

            -Physical abuse. Examples include hitting, shoving, biting or kicking
            -Emotional abuse. Examples include yelling, controlling or threatening.
-Sexual abuse. Examples include forcing something sexually that the other person does not want to do

Abuse often starts as emotional and then becomes physical later. Sometimes it is hard to know if you are being abused, in situation such as this it is then hard to know when to get help. Seeking nearby shelters and coalitions can decrease the stress and hardships that this type of violence can create. 

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Myths Continued

There are too many myths about domestic violence to focus in on them all. I will start again by covering a few more and continuing from the last blog. These are only the more common ones, but by understanding these, you can more effectively understand what domestic violence truly is and how to prevent it. 
Myth #1 – Drugs and alcohol cause domestic violence.

Reasoning: According to www.casadeesperanza.org, drugs and alcohol may increase the danger level and have been present in cases, but it DOES NOT cause this violence. “Many alcoholics or drug users do not batter, and many batterers do not use drugs and alcohol. Stopping the abusers drinking or drug use will not end the violence. Batters who are alcoholics or use drugs have separate issues to confront if they want help-their addiction and their abusive behavior. Each problem must be addressed independently.”  

Myth #2 – Batters, or abusers, “lose control” of their temper.

Reasoning: According to the same source as outlined above, battering is not a loss of control; it is the exertion of power and control of one partner over the other. Many times, an abuser is only violent toward their children or partners and make sure that others are unaware of the situation. They indulge force and fear behind closed doors into making sure that no one talks about it. 

Myth #3 – Not everyone knows a victim of domestic violence

Reasoning: According to www.umn.edu, we all know victims. “Worldwide, between one quarter and one half of all women experience violence in an intimate relationship. Victims of domestic violence may not disclose the abuse because of embarrassment or humiliation, fear that they will be blamed for the abuse, or the danger of retaliation from the abuser. 

I hope that these myths bring some light into the stereotype of domestic violence. I hope that you realize that it is more common than is often portrayed. There is no one set income group, gender, or any other group that is omitted from this type of violence.