October was domestic violence (DV) awareness month, a time when advocates and survivors came together to shed light on a pervasive issue and empower those who have suffered in silence. Survivors are a powerful reminder of the importance of this month and the need for change.
At HELP of Door County, our mission is to eliminate DV through prevention and intervention services and to advocate for social change. DV is a wide range of abusive behaviors rooted in power and control, such as: sexual abuse, stalking, financial abuse, using intimidation, emotional abuse, isolation, verbal abuse, physical abuse, and using minimizing, denying and blaming.
Strangulation has been identified as one of the most lethal forms of domestic violence. The words “choking” and “strangulation” both refer to restriction of airflow. However, it is important to know the differences between them. When a person is choking, a foreign object inside the body is blocking airflow. When someone is being strangled, an outside force is exerting enough pressure to impede movement of air. Both choking and strangulation can lead to severe injury and death.
Over half of victims who have been strangled lack visible external injuries, which leads to misunderstanding and underreporting. Although external injuries might not be visible it is important to document photos and monitor your signs and symptoms. Victims are encouraged to seek medical evaluation for changes in voice, swallowing, breathing, behavior, vision, or hearing to detect internal injuries.
Not only is strangulation a felony, it may be an attempted homicide. Strangulation causes traumatic brain injury, which is an alteration or disruption in the normal function of the brain caused by external force. Unconsciousness may occur within seconds and death within minutes. Having this knowledge is a powerful tool for change.
There is a wide range of abusive behaviors. DV impacts individuals of all genders, ages, races, and ethnicities; one in four women and one in seven men have been a victim of physical violence by an intimate partner. Many of the victims were killed after the relationship ended. If you have been strangled in the past your risk of being killed increases tenfold. This indicates that leaving does not equate to safety.
Domestic violence is not just physical but any kind of behavior that tries to gain power and control over a victim. If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic violence, reach out to an advocate at HELP of Door County 920.743.8785.
This article is brought to you in part by the Door County Coordinated Community Response (CCR) to Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Teams and the Door County Elder and Adult-at-Risk Interdisciplinary Team.
Source: Door County Pulse. Click here to view original post.