Ending Domestic Violence
Our hope is for a future free of the horrors of abuse.
Due to the pandemic, many victims of domestic violence are being isolated at home with their abusers. The impact has caused an increase in unhealthy environments, feelings of isolation, and more difficulty reaching out for help and find safe options without being monitored.
What is Domestic Violence?
Domestic violence is a term that covers many types of acts committed by a current or former intimate partner against another, or within a family. It can take the form of physical violence, sexual abuse, emotional or psychological abuse, financial abuse, or other controlling behavior. It can include threats, such as threatening to commit suicide or take the children away from the victim. Victims of domestic violence can be of any age, racial or cultural background, education level, financial level, religion, gender, or sexual orientation.
Domestic violence is usually not a single event and often becomes more severe and frequent over time. Many batterers are not violent in other relationships, such as at work or with friends. They routinely deny that the abuse occurred, minimize its severity, or blame the victim for the abuse.
Many factors contribute to domestic violence and abusive behavior—abusive family background, feelings of inadequacy, and stress. But ultimately it is driven by an abuser’s need for power and control. Being drunk or high may intensify existing violent behaviors, but alcohol or drug abuse does not cause domestic violence. Regardless of the underlying factors, the batterer is responsible for his or her actions—not the victim.
Domestic violence affects not only the direct victim, but also those who witness it. Children are particularly affected: those living with family violence are more likely to have problems with anxiety, self-esteem, depression, anger, and temperament.
King's Home Serves Victims of Domestic Violence
The impact of domestic violence on women and children in the United States is devastating. Victims of domestic violence suffer from homelessness, unemployment, financial distress, physical/mental trauma, and death.
Alabama Law Enforcement Agency Criminal Justice Services Division reported 80% of the domestic violence victims in 2017 were females; in 23% of domestic violence offenses, the victim was the wife/ex-wife of the offender; in 40% the victim was the girlfriend/ex-girlfriend of the offender.
A multi-state study funded by NIJ indicated that, if emergency domestic violence shelters did not exist, the consequences for victims would be dire, including: homelessness, serious losses including children [or] continued abuse or death.
Physical, mental, and sexual and reproductive health effects have been linked with intimate partner violence including adolescent pregnancy, unintended pregnancy in general, miscarriage, stillbirth, intrauterine hemorrhage, nutritional deficiency, abdominal pain and other gastrointestinal problems, neurological disorders, chronic pain, disability, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), as well as non-communicable diseases such as hypertension, cancer and cardiovascular diseases. Victims of domestic violence are also at higher risk for developing addictions to alcohol, tobacco, or drugs.
A study of intimate partner homicides found that 20% of victims were not the intimate partners themselves, but family members, friends, neighbors, persons who intervened, law enforcement responders, or bystanders.
Hope for the future
At King's Home, we understand the effects of abuse will continue to plague victims of domestic violence and future generations if the appropriate actions are not taken for a proper recovery. King's Home Women and Children's Program annually serves almost 200 victims of domestic violence composed of women and adult moms with their children within central Alabama. King's Home Youth Program serves an average of 200 kids ranging from 10 years of age to 21 years fleeing abuse, neglect, homelessness, and other horrific situations. Our mission is to serve youth, women, moms and their children with programs, resources and opportunity, so that they can secure a solid foundation for their future and be productive members of society.