In the few minutes it will take to read this article, about 50 people in the United States will have been assaulted by someone who claims to love them.
In fact, it has probably happened to someone you know.
To empower students and the community, Baker College of Allen Park, The Guidance Center and Beaumont Hospital are teaming up to present a forum — “It’s Personal! Ending the Cycle of Intimate Partner Violence.” It takes place from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Nov. 14 on the campus of Baker College, 4500 Enterprise Drive.
According to Anthony Harrison, prevention field supervisor at The Guidance Center, intimate partner violence is responsible for injuries, psychological trauma and even death, yet it is not widely known what can be done to help make it stop.
Some of the answers and response rests with professionals or the individuals involved, but there are also actions a person can take to end this type of violence. Here are three offered by Harrison:
- First, avoid perpetuating the stigma that a victim of intimate partner violence should be ashamed. No one deserves being struck with a fist, object or weapon regardless of how heated a disagreement becomes. No one deserves to be yelled at or threatened into compliance. Besides that, no one deserves having things thrown at them, broken or have their walls punched in anger.
- Second, recognize that victim blaming is one of the most frequently cited reasons that people suffering this type of violence do so in silence feeling as if they have no way out. Embarrassment, lack of resources, and isolation are just a few of the many reasons that people harmed by intimate partners do not readily flee these distressing situations. Paradoxically, a legitimate fear of being killed paralyzes many victims into continuing such dangerous relationships.
- Finally, do not ignore complaints of abuse. Failure to consider a victim’s plea for help not only permits an offender to escape accountability, it also affords time for escalation typical of this cycle of violence. Since much of intimate partner violence occurs outside of public view, when someone confides victimization, accept that their claims are likely credible and know how to help. Harrison said the forum at Baker College of Allen Park can provide practical ways of dealing with this serious issue.
Applying an interdisciplinary focus, professionals from criminal justice, nursing and human services will identify methods to address this societal problem.
The forum is designed to provide participants with a complex view into the impact this cycle of violence has on victims, children, loved ones and the community. Harrison said the overarching goal is to outline resources available to individuals directly and indirectly impacted by this crisis, discuss current practices in each discipline and identify collaborative opportunities to develop new initiatives to reduce the occurrence of intimate partner violence.