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How to Stop Domestic Violence
Multnomah County Commissioner Jeff Cogen gave a speech recently where he highlighted what he considers the top 20 things you can do to stop domestic violence. Following today's show we thought we thought we'd share it with you:
1. Let victims know that they deserve to be safe, the abuse is not their fault, and that there is help available.
2. Listen with empathy and respect to what a victim is telling you and ask open-ended questions that let them know you care and want to know more about what is happening to them.
3. Give out the phone number of the local domestic violence advocacy programs. In Multnomah County, there are several numbers to call when victims, friends or family members are seeking assistance: Portland Women's Crisis Line 503-235-5333; Linea UNICA (Spanish) 503-232-4448, Volunteers of America Home Free 503-771-5503, or the national domestic violence hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE.
4. Call 9-1-1 if you see or hear someone being abused, and be willing to give the police a statement regarding what you saw or heard.
5. Speak out in your community about the effects of domestic violence and stalking. Contact a local domestic violence advocacy agency if you would like help in speaking out or to get involved in their public education efforts.
6. Make public statements against violence to those you know including neighbors, friends, family, co-workers, or members of your congregation/place of worship.
Interrupt jokes or comments that trivialize domestic violence or its survivors, or that blame the victim.
7. Support domestic violence programs with donations of money, food, clothes, household goods or time. Send a donation to a local domestic violence victim advocacy program or sign up for a monthly automatic withdrawal of funds.
8. Learn more about domestic violence in your community and the resources available to victims and perpetrators.
9. Arrange to have a local victim advocacy provide training on domestic violence and how to respond at your workplace, civic organization, place of worship or other groups.
10. Encourage your employer/manager to develop a policy on responding to domestic violence in the workplace that supports victims, provides safety for co-workers, and conforms to Oregon leave and anti-discrimination laws.
11. Invite victim advocacy programs to come to your workplace to train employees and supervisors/manager on domestic violence in the workplace and to help to develop workplace violence policies that assure appropriate response, or access the Multnomah County training that is currently available.
12. Ask your religious leader(s) to address the issue of domestic violence in that community.
13. Advocate for adequate state and local funding for a range of services to victims, to ensure that help is available to all victims who seek assistance.
14. Encourage your local schools to provide domestic violence prevention education and safety response in schools.
15. Talk to your children, teens and pre-teens, about their right to be respected and treated well by a dating partner. Let them know that love shouldn't hurt.
16. Order "Love Shouldn’t Hurt" brochures from the Family Violence Coordinating Council, and arrange to have them available at your place of work, at colleges and universities, places of worship, or other venues.
17. Encourage the media to cover domestic violence responsibly. A domestic violence homicide is not a "domestic dispute" gone bad, nor is domestic violence usually a "relationship problem" or equal between the partners.
18. Help a child who is living with an abusive parent to develop a plan to be safe if an assault occurs in their presence and let them know it is not their fault. If it is safe for them to do so, show them how to call 9-1-1.
19. Promote respect and dignity for all people, regardless of their gender, class, race, sexual orientation or physical ability.
20. Make a serious effort to better understand issues of power and control in whatever area they occur. Work against oppression and violence.
Thanks to the Multnomah Family Violence Coordinating Council for providing us with this list.