October 2022 is Domestic Violence Awareness Month
October 20 - In a proclamation by Cottage Grove Mayor Jeff Gowing, he urged “all people to actively participate in the scheduled activities and programs to work toward eradicating domestic violence, improving victim safety and holding perpetrators of domestic abuse accountable for their actions against individual victims and our society.”
October 2022 has been dedicated in Cottage Grove and throughout the nation as Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Each year, millions of homes across the U.S. are affected by domestic violence as families struggle to find relief. Services to help prevent abuse and stop its causes can be lifesaving.
Anyone can be a victim of some form of repeated violence by strangers, family members, intimate partners or ex-partners.
Harley Therapy reported that many causes of violence include “frustration, exposure to violent media, violence in the home or neighborhood and a tendency to see other people's actions as hostile even when they're not.”
Abusive relationships and toxic, abusive entanglement in platonic relationships can be difficult to leave for many reasons. Often, people are unaware that they are in an unhealthy relationship until it's too late.
“The crime of domestic violence violates an individual's privacy and dignity, security and humanity, due to systematic use of physical, emotional, sexual, economic, and psychological control and abuse to children and the elderly,” Gowing read in his proclamation. “Domestic violence is not limited to physical or verbal abuse but includes intimate terrorism (such as isolation, covert control, reproductive coercion, economic and sexual exploitation) and online abuse (such as stalking, humiliation, doxing, rape and death threats) and these forms of terror are often unrecognized by our laws and norms. Domestic violence affects not only the person being abused but also children, neighbors, friends, family, coworkers, faith communities, and others.”
Some services are offered in Oregon for those affected by domestic violence, including temporary financial assistance for survivors.
The Co-located advocate program in Oregon provides direct onsite safety planning and advocacy. Since they are not state employees, they are exempt from mandatory reporting laws. And the Domestic Violence Point People Program will connect victims with regular Oregon DHS employees with particular expertise in DV issues. Additional information is provided on the State of Oregon website: www.oregon.gov/dhs/abuse/domestic/Pages/index.aspx.
“It is survivors of violence, and the advocates who partner with them daily on safety planning and support measures, to whom we look for guidance on raising awareness of domestic violence, and ultimately working to build community norms of healthy relationships,” Gowing continued. “Hope & Safety Alliance continues to provide safety, hope and healing to domestic violence survivors of all genders through advocacy and support and focuses on educational prevention and has served thousands of people in Lane County for more than 45 years.”
Hope and Safety Alliance (formerly Womenspace) is a local support service aimed to get out of abusive or harmful situations. It offers domestic violence/relationship abuse support, shelter and safe housing for families and individuals leaving a dangerous situation and support groups. The alliance has Spanish and English speaking advocates available 24-hour on the crisis line and web chat. People can reach them at 541-485-8232 or their 24-hour Crisis Line is, 541-485-6513. Or free from any phone, 800-281-2800 or see them in person at 1577 Pearl Street, Second Floor, 400, Eugene, OR 97401 or online at www.hopesafetyalliance.org.
If people are concerned about someone they know, they should consider calling local non-emergency dispatch lines. They can connect people with the proper authorities or resources. The Cottage Grove Police non-emergency dispatch number is 541-942-9145. And as always, if someone is in an emergency situation or know of someone in an emergency situation, they should not hesitate to call 911.
“The impact and the cost of domestic violence is wide-ranging and devastating, directly affecting individuals, children and society, in this community, throughout the United States and the world,” the mayor stated. “Too many Oregonians have lost their lives due to domestic violence; we remember those women, men, and children who have died and are taking a firm stance to prevent domestic violence.”