October is Domestic Violence Awareness month. According to the National Domestic Violence Hotline, every minute on average twenty-four individuals in the United States are the victims of physical abuse, stalking, or sexual assault at the hands of their intimate partners. It is an issue most often hidden from view, and survivors suffer in isolation. During the months of the COVID-19 pandemic, advocates have expressed concern for those now spending more time at home in close proximity to perpetrators. The validity of these concerns have unfortunately been seen in the surge of emergency room cases as a consequence of intimate partner violence.*
As the church, we have an obligation to not only pray for survivors but to also remain aware of those suffering at the hands of an intimate partner, offer support, and urge legislators to take action on their behalf. If you or someone you know is a victim of domestic violence, I can help direct you to community resources. Additionally, the UCC has created an easy way to contact elected officials to ask that they renew the Violence Against Women Act and other bills that could benefit survivors. You can follow this link to take action.
* A Pandemic within a Pandemic — Intimate Partner Violence during Covid-19 by Megan L. Evans, M.D., M.P.H., Margo Lindauer, J.D., and Maureen E. Farrell, M.D.