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By Rebecca K. Watts Domestic Violence Awareness


sories, all reminding you to “think pink,” but in that sea of pink, you will also see the occasional purple ribbon – purple for domestic violence awareness. The first Domestic Violence Awareness Month was observed in October 1987 and continues to be observed every October.


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Despite there being a National month of awareness, domestic violence continues to be something that most women think will not affect them – many believe that domestic violence won’t affect them because domestic violence is something that only happens to “other people,” but the truth is domestic violence can affect women or men of all ages, ethnicities, occupations, and socio-economic status and the numbers of domestic violence related incidents in North Carolina is staggering. According to the North Carolina Coalition Against Domestic Violence website, between January 1 and August 14, 2013, there have been 26 suspected domestic violence homi-


18 Connect And Grow With Women In Our Community


uring the month of Octo- ber, everywhere you turn, you see pink. Pink ribbons, pink clothing, pink acces-


cides in North Carolina and according to WBTV news; Charlotte-Mecklenburg 911 receives more than 35,000 domestic violence related calls each year.


Domestic violence is defined as inten- tionally causing bodily injury, attempting to cause bodily injury, placing the other person in fear of imminent serious bodily injury, harassing the other person to the extent that the other person suffers emotional distress, or committing certain sexual assaults. In other words, domestic violence is not just hitting – sometimes domestic violence does not involve any touching at all. If your partner threatens you or berates you to the point that you fear for your safety or you suffer emotion- al distress that can be domestic violence.


Many women who are victims of domes- tic violence fail to seek help because they are embarrassed, because they believe that the perpetrator won’t do it again, or because they are afraid it will get worse if they try to leave. Some women simply do not know where to turn for help or what help is available. If you or someone you know has suffered an incident of domestic


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