October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

Author Amber Skyze reminded me.  See her post here:  TGIF

Here’s the link to her poignant personal blog.

Amber and I have somewhat similar backgrounds.  We both managed to escape violent, dangerous men.  I won’t speak for Amber, but in my case if my ex thought he could get away with it, he’d still be coming after me and my son.  He is one of the reasons we always have a German shepherd dog.

I think my personal experience is why I’m having a very tough time with the current obsession with extreme BDSM in romantic/erotic literature.

Ladies, there is a fine line between a little pleasure/pain traded between two loving partners and bullying, domestic violence, rape… and well, you can see where I’m heading.

From The National Resource Center on Domestic Violence:

“Domestic violence is best understood as a pattern of abusive behaviors–including physical, sexual, and psychological attacks as well as economic coercion–used by one intimate partner against another (adult or adolescent) to gain, maintain, or regain power and control in the relationship. Batterers use of a range of tactics to frighten, terrorize, manipulate, hurt, humiliate, blame, often injure, and sometimes kill a current or former intimate partner.”

A  few statistics on Domestic Violence in the United States (from a report to the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee):

1.  Domestic Violence is the leading cause of injury to women between the ages of 15 and 44, higher than car accidents, muggings and rapes combined.

2.  In the United States a woman is assaulted or beaten every 9 seconds.

3.  1 in 5 girls who has been in a relationship said a boyfriend has threatened violence or self-harm when faced with a breakup.

4.  At least 3 women are murdered every day by a spouse or boyfriend in the United States.

5.  Worldwide, 1 in every 3 women has been assaulted, coerced into sex, or otherwise abused in her lifetime, often by a male relative or intimate partner.

6.  Men, who as children witnessed their parents’ acts of domestic violence, are more than twice as likely to abuse their wives.

7.  The costs of intimate partner violence in the United States alone exceed $5.8 billion per year, $4.1 billion are for medical and healthcare services, while productivity losses account for $1.8 billion.

These statistics, while staggering, don’t surprise me.  If you reread the above definition of Domestic Violence, you’ll see why some of us might find the line between the current fascination with BDSM and acts of Domestic Violence blurred.

Tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

17 Responses to October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

  1. Your book of poetry is filled with tender, touching, creative poems that are a joy to read and share, Julia. You also have some of the most powerful, vivid warning poems that support this post and make both a must read for women everywhere.
    Your message makes this a take-seriously topic.
    Well done.

  2. There’s nothing to say except, thanks, Marylin. Your words mean everything.

  3. Amber Skyze says:

    While I write BDSM I have trouble with crossing some lines, because of my past experience with my ex. He raped me on many occasions. He’s choked me to the point I thought I’d die.
    Domestic Violence is a serious matter and I’m thankful you decided to speak about it on your blog today, Julia. I know you have great followers.
    And yes, if my ex thought he could get away with killing me, he probably would.

  4. Tom Stronach says:

    I posted a tweet last night that our new neighbours were going at it but I wasn’t sure who was hitting whom and that I was contemplating either knocking on the door or calling the police. I even went out and stood by the back gate ( you’ll remember how close we are Jules) to listen and to gauge what I should do. This is the second time now and both times are Friday nights so maybe something is happening (and as I think about it as I write this the last time was about a month ago – maybe it is a low salary thing?) to act as a catalyst.

    We don’t see them that often but there is a baby and a toddler who has just started nursery school and they noth seem lovely in the street but it is very disconcerting. It only lasted a few moments, so I left it alone.

  5. Tom, It’s hard to say whether calling the cops would help her or endanger you. I don’t know how the DV laws in the UK are administered. Here they rarely can do anything if the woman won’t press charges. You might call the police and ask what they advise. That would alert them to there being a problem at least.

    In Maine nearly all violent crime against women and children is domestic. The rest is addiction. While the laws have improved they are not perfect.

  6. Tom Stronach says:

    Stephanie, I think you may be correct about not going and getting directly involved, Ishbel says the say thing.

    Like you not to sure what the law says here, I suspect direct action would be advising the police of my concerns and then leave it at that and maybe phone them if I hear it again but no doubt they would advise me on that position

    Thanks Petal xx

  7. anny cook says:

    I lived in such a home as a child. There is nothing worse because you have no control of the situation. No power.

  8. Very true, Anny. It is awful.

  9. Tom, I think if you ever see bruises on those kids or on the woman you’d better call the police. As a nurse I’m a mandated reporter if I suspect abuse. I can lose my nursing license if I don’t report suspected abuse. Hubby’s in the same position.

  10. Been there, Amber. I have been in your shoes more times than I like to remember.

  11. yoshi says:

    I consider myself to be pretty open minded but it is my considered opinion that violence against women must never be accepted as a form of recreation. There must be some limits and this is one of them folks. You can smash all the zombie heads you want, get cozy with vampires, enjoy some shifter sex scenes if you must but if you are getting off on reading about women being beaten you have some serious issues.

  12. My hat is off to you, Yoshi. You are not a mincer of words. In any healthy relationship there is trust. Beating a woman, or man, negates said trust.

  13. Nobody should ever have to go through this…

  14. I wish, Savannah. Unfortunately it’s so very common.

  15. Penelope says:

    Thank you for posting this, Julia!

  16. Well Penny – Oscar and I laughed so hard – it’s good to laugh!

  17. Sandra Cox says:

    Domestic violence is the ultimate betrayal.