October Health Beat

“Karen’s Kolumn” is researched and written by Public Health Nurse Karen Dolley. We appreciate her support and willingness to share!

October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

According to 2009 data from the Federal CDC, women experienced 4.8 million partner related physical assaults and rapes. Men were victims of 2.9 million partner related physical assaults. These numbers underestimate the problem as many victims don’t report this violence to family, friends, or law enforcement. Many victims think others will not believe them and that law enforcement can’t or won’t help. Domestic violence is the leading cause of injury to women and 50% of the homicides in Maine are related to domestic abuse. Domestic violence affects people of all races and at all socioeconomic levels.

Often domestic violence begins with emotional abuse and progresses to physical and/or sexual abuse. Frequently, several types of abuse occur together.

There are four major types of partner violence. Physical violence is when a person hurts or tries to hurt another person by hitting, kicking, or using any other type of physical force. Sexual violence is forcing a partner to engage in a sexual act without their consent. Threats include using words, weapons, or other means to communicate an intention to cause harm. Emotional abuse is threatening a partner, his or her possessions, pets, or family members or harming a partner’s sense of self worth. Examples include (more…)