Boone County Safe Shelter
The First Group Events
The STOmP Domestic Violence Boot Camp is scheduled for Saturday, December 4th at the ARC in Columbia. The Boot Camp, is being held in memory of Karen Kahler, and is a one hour and fifteen minute fitness circuit for all fitness levels and abilities. Registration is only $12 and free t-shirts will be given to the first 150 registrants. Join us on December 4th to honor Karen Kahler and raise awareness about domestic violence. Proceeds from this great even will benefit True North. The first group to register and learn more go to www.stompbootcamp.org.
Question: How big a problem is domestic violence? Answer: According to the November 2000 Department of Justice report, Full Report of the Prevalence, Incidence, and Consequences of Intimate Partner Violence Against Women: Findings from the National Violence Against Women Survey, 22% of surveyed women reported they were physically assaulted by a current or former spouse, cohabiting partner, boyfriend or girlfriend, or date in their lifetime. Approximately 1.3 million women and 835,000 men are physically assaulted by an intimate partner annually in the United States. Question: What are the myths and facts about domestic violence? Answer: There are many myths regarding the causes and consequences of domestic violence. For information, please see the Office of the Clark County (Indiana) Prosecuting Attorney’s Myths and Facts about Domestic Violence.
Question: What do we know about rural domestic violence? Answer: Evidence-based studies of rural women who have experienced domestic violence are scarce. As the national surveys illustrate, domestic violence is a critical issue in the United States. These surveys, however, typically do not entirely always grab a bargain sale orcapture the total number of violent incidences, which can include hidden types of abuse such as psychological and financial abuse. Intimate partner violence is often under reported, particularly in rural areas where there is less privacy for domestic violence survivors.
In fact, the challenges and occurrences experienced by survivors of domestic violence are likely made worse by residence in a rural community. Question: How does domestic violence affect children? Answer: Children exposed to violence in the home may experience a variety of negative consequences such as anxiety, sleep disturbances, withdrawal, and rebelliousness. Without treatment, these children are at greater risk for substance abuse, depression, and difficulty in their own relationships. Question: Is it more difficult for rural women to seek and get help? Answer:
Rural relationships tend to be closely knit. Relationships or familiarity with health care providers and/or law enforcement officials may affect victims’ willingness to discuss abuse or violence. Similarly, relationships with an abuser may limit the extent to which an abuse or violence claim is investigated. The culture of some rural communities can make it more difficult for women to seek help. Communities where men and women tend to stay in traditional roles, where people avoid asking for help, and where there is less awareness of domestic violence and its impact on victims and children are communities where it is harder for domestic violence victims to seek out the resources they need.
Question: Is it more difficult for rural women to get to needed services? Answer: Rural domestic violence victims are in more isolated locations and may have difficulty accessing health care and other services due to lack of transportation or poor weather and road conditions. Emergency response time is often slower in rural areas. In addition, some rural homes do not have telephone service to request emergency assistance.
Question: Are treatment services available to domestic violence offenders in rural areas? Answer: In most rural communities, offender treatment options are limited. To find out about treatment options available in your area, please contact your local domestic violence agency. If you don’t know who to contact, please see this list of state domestic violence resources from the National Women’s Health Information Center. Communities and individuals who want to start an offender treatment program in their community can learn more from Minnesota Program Development: The Duluth Model and Emerge: Counseling and Education to Prevent Domestic Violence, both of which provide training on domestic violence offender treatment. Question: How does rural poverty relate to domestic violence? Answer: Rural poverty is a particular concern regarding domestic violence. Studies have shown that poverty and domestic violence are related. Poverty greatly contributes to family and relationship stress and limits victims’ ability to leave abusive partners or family members. Nonmetropolitan poverty rates are higher than those in metropolitan regions for many demographic groups, particularly minorities in the South. Rural family violence survivors who live in poverty and lack transportation may be unable to travel to family members’ or friends’ homes for shelter. Question: Is access to firearms a risk factor for domestic violence?
Answer: Many weapons, especially firearms, are more readily available in rural households. Increased availability of these weapons increases the risk and deadliness of domestic attacks upon rural women. Question: What role does health care access play for domestic violence victims and survivors? Answer: A shortage of health care providers is a constant challenge for rural Americans, particularly when addressing survivors of domestic violence who may need physical or mental health treatment to recover from the effects of abuse. Rural residents are more likely to be under insured. Lack of insurance limits victims’ abilities to seek either primary or mental health care for injuries, depression, or anxiety. Question: What types of training and resources are available for rural health care providers to help them prevent domestic violence? Answer: Rural health care providers may lack training to screen for domestic violence. The Family Violence Prevention Fund has a video, Screen to End Abuse, providing examples of domestic violence screening in a primary care setting. The video is available for purchase in several formats.
Additional information about how health care providers can help address domestic violence is available in Chapter 2 of the Toolkit to End Violence Against Women: Improving the Health and Mental Health Care Systems’ Responses to Violence Against Women. Question: Is access to legal services a problem in rural areas? Answer: Domestic violence survivors may be in need of legal assistance for protection orders, divorces, child custody proceedings and other legal matters that are a consequence of abuse or violence. In rural areas, it can be more difficult to find an affordable lawyer or legal aid. Law enforcement and the courts in rural communities may be less familiar with issues of domestic violence and appropriate responses. For a list of legal aid services in your state, please see the Legal Services Corporation’s list of LSC-funded programs. To learn about providing free legal services in rural areas, please see the publication Rural Pro Bono Delivery: A Guide to Pro Bono Legal Services in Rural Areas.
Question: What can rural communities do to address domestic violence? Answer: A Coordinated Community Response (CCR), in which health care providers, community groups, criminal justice, and social service agencies work together, is considered one of the best approaches to addressing domestic violence. Some of the characteristics of CCR programs include a shared philosophical approach, understanding of the each group’s role, and a plan to work together to improve the community’s response to violence against women. The CCR approach provides a more unified response to victim needs while holding offenders accountable for their actions. For more information about using CCR to address domestic violence, please see the Family Violence Prevention Fund’s publication Preventing Family Violence: Community Engagement Makes the Difference.
Check out the resources listed above for further domestic Violence advice.