October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month

I am a survivor.

That is why my seva is at my local domestic violence shelter for almost 10 years now. It is my favorite class to teach because my students are also my teachers. Someone you know is a survivor of domestic violence, sexual assault, or both.

Consider these facts –

Domestic Violence:

Half of all married women in the United States are physically abused at some time in their marriage.

One in 10 teenagers will be involved in a violent dating relationship before graduating from high school.

A woman is beaten every 10 seconds.

Domestic violence is the most under-reported crime in the US.

Domestic violence cuts across all socioeconomic backgrounds, regardless of race, religion, or level of education.

Battering often occurs during pregnancy.

10 women a day die at the hands of their husbands or partners.

Every five years the number of women in the US who die at the hands of their partners is equal to the number of males who died in the Viet Nam War.

Abused women comprise 20% of all women presenting injuries at hospital emergency rooms.

Sexual Assault:

Every 5 minutes a woman is raped.

One-third of all rapes occur in a woman’s home.

Rape itself is a violent act, but 85% of all rapes are accompanied by more violence or the threat of violence.

Only 7% of sexually assaulted women report rape. This makes the actual number of rapes in the US as high as 2 million a year.

One in three girls and one in five boys will be sexually assaulted or abused before age 18.

In a Cornell University questionnaire, 92% of the respondents listed sexual harassment as a serious problem. 70% had personally experienced some form of harassment.

American women are 8 times more likely to be raped than European women and 26 times more likely than Japanese women.

One third of the sexual assault program clients at the shelter where I teach are children between the ages of 3-13; 50% of these clients are boys between the ages of 3-10.

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Instead of wearing a purple ribbon, find a DV shelter in your community and do you seva. Walk your yoga talk for these women and you will be repaid 10 times over. Last night one of the women brought her little boy and he got on my mat and started teaching with me. Priceless.

Karma yoga = yoga love.

Karma yoga = peace.

May all beings have happiness and the causes of happiness.
May all beings be free from suffering and the causes of suffering.

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7 thoughts on “October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month

  1. What is there to say to such numbers, Linda?

    Sad.

    Makes me horribly sad.

    I also get a little frustrated with numbers and studies around domestic violence because it all so often leaves out the child or children who spent their precious early years hiding in closets and trying to stay out of the way. The adult mother CAN (I mean physically, of course) leave…the child cannot.

  2. The numbers are overwhelming. We have terrible stats here in Australia, too. But I'm not sure how they stack up against the US ones.

    The thing that numbers leave out though, is the hard work it takes to recover from violence and assault. As you well know, it's not something you can get over in a week or two. Some people never get over being assaulted or having their life threatened.

    And I kind of wonder if there was more of a focus on that, perhaps it would help perpetrators and/or potential perpetrators understand that their violence isn't just a single act. It's not over in the same night, like it is for the perpetrator.

    I am a survivor, too. And it seems like I'm finally making some headway. I know that makes me fortunate, and you know for sure I'm right there with you in terms of doing seva and being there for others. xo

  3. “I also get a little frustrated with numbers and studies around domestic violence because it all so often leaves out the child or children who spent their precious early years hiding in closets and trying to stay out of the way.”

    the numbers may leave out the children but shelters do not.

    “The adult mother CAN (I mean physically, of course) leave…the child cannot.”

    I disagree. I no longer make that blanket statement. The mother CAN NOT always leave, i.e., unless she and her child want to be homeless on the streets. depending on the area, sometimes shelters are few and far between. sometimes a woman has no family to go to, and if she does, sometimes they don't want her.

    Battered women stay for a multitude of reasons and I don't think it is appropriate, especially as survivors, to judge their reasons for staying.

  4. A battered woman stays for many reasons and I was in no way judging those, but I will (and we should) hold MOTHERS more accountable.

    Battered mothers who chose to stay are culpable in the abuse of those children. Any other person who witnesses a crime in this country and does nothing to stop is the same. Why not mothers?

    And yes, as a child of abuse who used to pray to be released from the hell of it, I am biased.

  5. These statistics are human tragedies, heart wrenching. Bringing them out and speaking about this topic personally is so important to bringing it to an end. Empowering children, women, and men that are victims is essential. Thank you for all you are doing, and the inspiration you provide!!
    xox K

  6. as a survivor of domestic abuse both as a child and an adult, i wasboth saddened by the stats in this post and encouraged by your efforts to raise awareness. my yoga practice helped me imensely, and im about to start volunteering at my local refuge and will be pasting this article on the noticeboard, thanks xx

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