Domestic Violence Awareness Month
To help educate and increase awareness about domestic violence, many events are slated around the country this month, including some here locally. At the bottom of this list are my speaking engagements in October. Please feel free to attend ~ and bring a friend!
One of the most difficult topics to talk about when it comes to domestic violence is the idea that rape can and does occur within marriage, and other intimate relationships where love should be the basis for sex. Perhaps even more challenging to talk about, though, is the fact that pregnancy does occur through these acts of rape. This is really a much bigger problem than you might expect, and one that is supported by several major studies, as reported at the Centers for Disease Control website.
According to the CDC, 10% of American women were raped (or experienced an attempted rape) by a husband or significant other. And the evidence reports that this rape doesn’t just occur once—it occurs repeatedly.
Approximately 4.7% adult women become pregnant through rape. This led that agency to take U.S. Census figures, and arrive at the conclusion that an estimated 32,000 such pregnancies occur annually in women who are 18 or older.
Where pregnancy occurred:
- 32.4% of victims didn’t know they were pregnant until they their second trimester
- 32.2% kept the baby
- 50% had an abortion
- 11.8% had a spontaneous abortion
Because of the numerous associated problems (such as depression, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, and attempted suicide), this is what the CDC’s study found:
“Rape-related pregnancy occurs with significant frequency. It is a cause of many unwanted pregnancies and is closely linked with family and domestic violence. As we address the epidemic of unintended pregnancies in the United States, greater attention and effort should be aimed at preventing and identifying unwanted pregnancies that result from sexual victimization.”
Please see the CDC’s website for more details about this serious problem.
- Monday, Oct. 9—Silent Witness; 7 p.m. WVU Mountainlair Ballroom
The SILENT WITNESS EXHIBIT was first conceptualized by members of the Minnesota Arts Action Against Domestic Violence, an ad hoc group of artists and writers, in cooperation with the Minnesota Women’s Consortium. The first exhibit in 1990 featured 27 life-size figures, each representing a woman whose life ended as a result of domestic violence. A WVU Public Service Grant made it possible to update the Exhibit in 2004. The silhouettes represent 50 women, children, and men in WV who were murdered by an intimate partner or a family member between 1999 & 2001. For more information, please contact Leslie Tower at (304) 293-293-3501, ext. 3126.
- Monday, Oct. 16—Morgantown Public Library; 6-8 p.m.; DV Awareness Program featuring a video and speeches. For more information, please contact Tamara Woods at (304) 291-7425.
- Thursday, Oct. 19—Morgantown Courthouse Square; 6:30 p.m.; RDVIC Annual Vigil, featuring information about how the legal community helps survivors of domestic violence. For more information, please contact RDVIC at (304) 292-5100.