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Now are we saying the economy has absolutely no affect on domestic violence? Not exactly, when you consider the victims. Mid-Valley Women’s Crisis Service hasn’t had a sudden increase in the number of women and families in shelter since the economic crisis, but the average length of shelter stay has increased. Jobs, financial assistance, housing, and many other resources necessary for safety and self-sufficiency are scarce these days. Once they are in shelter, women are staying longer than usual and if they haven’t had a safe opportunity to leave yet, you can guarantee their abuser is saying things like “go ahead and leave, but how are you going to get a job, pay your bills, and find a place to live?”. These kinds of comments are affective tools added to their many other threats, manipulations, and dangers that leave no other choice but for women to stay.
By no means are we down playing the increase in domestic violence homicides recently. These are horrible, devastating crimes that deserve the attention to raise awareness of a historic and ongoing issue affecting 1 in 4 women in their lifetime. Even more devastating is the fact that these crimes are preventable. Domestic violence could end this very second, if abusers decided to make a different choice. They are completely capable of doing so, yet the vast majority do not since it gets them what they want (power and control) and their excuses still work. In the meantime, our communities can send a powerful message that survivors will be supported, abusers held accountable, and victims remembered.
posted 3 years, 2 months ago
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