October is Domestic Violence Awareness month, a time to remember victims of domestic violence and to advocate for change to reduce and eventually stop the violence.
However, the issue of domestic violence doesn’t go away at the end of October.
Take the example of the officer-involved shooting that occurred on Sunday, Nov. 4, 2012 at approximately 11 p.m. on Central Avenue in Fremont.
The suspect, Dejuan Eaton, is a 37-year-old San Jose resident. Police officers shot and killed the domestic violence suspect while he allegedly pursued his estranged wife with a knife, a police spokeswoman said. This is not unusual since 40-54 percent of women in the United States are killed by a husband, boyfriend, or ex.
Women are more at risk when leaving the relationship. According to the Violence Policy Center (VPC), 216 women in California in 2010 were killed as a result of domestic violence. VPC Legislative Director Kristen Rand states, “Women face an unacceptable risk of being victims of homicide perpetrated by people they know and love. Much more must be done to protect women and prevent domestic violence that too often escalates to homicide.
The conundrum is that women are at a greater risk of violence when leaving the violent relationship (3 months to one year) and are safer when they have left (one year or longer). Issues involving attachment (love, marriage, children, joint finances, shared property) combined with the threat of violence when they consider getting out of the violent relationship, often leaves the victim paralyzed, temporarily unable to act.
Studies also show that abused women often underestimate the lethality in their relationship. This is another factor that affects their ability to leave the violent relationship.
Domestic violence does not constrain itself to a single month, it is unfortunately a daily occurrence.
You can get help for victims of domestic violence by referring them to Safe Alternatives to Violent (SAVE) via the crisis hotline (510-794-6055) or the website at www.save-dv.org. Services ranging from emergency shelter to individual and group counseling are available.