To end domestic violence and sexual assault, we all need to be part of the solution. Educating yourself and others, helping a friend who is being abused, speaking up about abuse, and acting as an engaged bystander are all examples of things we can do to help.
Know the Facts
The next time you’re in a room with 6 people, think about this:
- 1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men experience violence from their partners in their lifetimes.
- 1 in 3 teens experience sexual or physical abuse or threats from a boyfriend or girlfriend in one year.
- 1 in 5 women are survivors of rape.
- 1 in 2 women and 1 in 5 men have experienced some form of sexual violence in their lives.
- 1 in 4 women and 1 in 6 men were sexually abused before the age of 18.
Looking for the citations for these stats? Click here.
What is Domestic Violence?
Domestic Violence is a pattern of behavior used to establish power and control over another person through fear and intimidation, often including the threat or use of violence. Some signs of an abusive relationship include:
- Exerting strict control (financial, social and/or appearance).
- Needing constant contact including excessive texts and calls.
- Emotional abuse including insulting a partner in front of other people.
- Extreme jealousy.
- Showing fear around a partner.
- Isolation from family and friends.
- Frequent canceling of plans at the last minute.
- Unexplained injuries or explanations that don’t quite add up.
What is Sexual Assault?
Sexual assault is a crime motivated by a need to control, humiliate and harm. Perpetrators use sexual assault as a weapon to hurt and dominate others. Sexual assault is forced or coerced sexual contact without consent. Consent is the presence of a clear yes, not the absence of a no. It can take the form of:
- Child Sexual Abuse/Molestation
- Oral sex
- Forcing a person to pose for sexual pictures
- Fondling or unwanted sexual touching above and under clothing
- Force which may include but is not limited to:
- Use or display of a weapon
- Physical battering
- Immobilization of the victim
Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Resources
To learn how to help someone in an abusive relationship or to get help for yourself, call The National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) or visit domesticshelters.org, the largest searchable directory of domestic violence service providers in the United States. Visit the Safe Havens Mapping Project to find a shelter that allows you to bring pets. For teens and youth, call 1-866-331-9474 or text “loveis” to 22522 or live chat at www.loveisrespect.org.
For more information on rape and sexual violence services, contact RAINN—the Rape Abuse Incest National Network at 1-800-656-4673 (HOPE) or by secure, online private chat HERE. Men who may have had unwanted or abusive sexual experience in childhood, family members, friends and partners of men who may have had those experiences can also use the 1in6 Online SupportLine – a free, confidential, and secure service – to get help.
Additional domestic violence resources to help you determine if your friend or family member is in danger and help you offer your support:
- 10 Warning Signs of an Unhealthy Relationship by Break the Cycle
- How Can I Help A Friend or Family Member Who Is Being Abused? by The National Domestic Violence Hotline
- Tips for Supporting a Survivor of Sexual Assault by Know Your IX
- Help A Stranger by Loveisrespect.org
- Help Your Child by Loveisrespect.org
- Please see Men Can Stop Rape’s Resources for Male Survivors of DV & SA
- Resources for Family & Friends of Male Survivors of Childhood Sexual Abuse by 1in6
- Men Can Be Victims of Abuse, Too by The National Domestic Violence Hotline
Click here for a list of campus specific resources.
The Avon Foundation for Women partnered with NO MORE to launch See the Signs, Speak Out, providing free online training programs for small and large businesses and organizations to educate employees about how to have conversations about domestic violence, dating abuse, and sexual assault and make a difference in the workplace, in their homes, and in their communities.
- Recognize and Respond to Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault. Learn how to start the conversations to help family, friends, or colleagues who are impacted by domestic violence and sexual assault. Click here
- Dating Abuse: Tools for Talking to Teens. Teens need to talk. Learn how you can talk to the teens in your life about dating abuse. Click here
- Stand Up, Don’t Stand by, Protect Children from Domestic Violence. Get the tools to recognize danger for a child, decide you can do something, and intervene for change. Click here
These trainings can be taken individually online during a break or lunch or at a staff meeting. Training can also be facilitated by human resources professionals by downloading free training materials and hosting a course. Ideally, companies and organizations will reach out to their state coalition to secure a content expert from a local domestic violence program or rape crisis center to be on site to assist with the training and provide local resources.