Relationships are supposed to be about love, support and understanding. However, relationships can become dangerous, even life-threatening. Domestic violence is a serious issue throughout our country. Every nine seconds, a woman in the United States is beaten or abused (domesticviolencestatistics.org). Unfortunately, the odds are you know a person who has experienced domestic violence, or perhaps you are a survivor of domestic violence. It is important to remember that domestic violence is about power and fear, not about love. Domestic violence is never the victim’s fault.
The Power and Control Wheel, shown below, is often used to help victims of domestic violence identify abusive, threatening and dangerous behaviors.
Officer Kelly DiBona of the NEOMED Police Department has worked with and on behalf of victims of domestic violence. Officer DiBona recently spoke to legislators in Columbus about House Bill 1, which is designed to close some of the loopholes in Ohio’s domestic violence laws. HB1 provides resources including the Safer Futures hotline (330.673.2500) and Safer Futures Domestic Violence and Resource Center located in Portage County. HB1 recently passed an Ohio House vote and moved to the Senate.
Safer Futures provides shelter for women and children leaving an abusive relationship. It provides referrals to medical appointments, counseling and other resources. Safer Futures also provides an advocate to help victims with legal paperwork needed in filing an order of protection. Safer Futures can also help with planning to leave an abusive relationship, including saving money, copying important documents and gathering other items needed.
The Safer Futures hotline helps victims with counseling, information, resources and help leaving an abusive relationship. Friends or family of victims can also call the hotline for more information; to get help with identification of warning signs; and to find the best way to help someone leave an abusive relationship.
Help is also available via the National Resource Center on Domestic Violence at 1.800.799.7233 or at nrcdv.org. It can be difficult to leave an abusive relationship, but help is available. If you or someone you know is being abused, please pick up the phone, learn what your options are and get help. You have more resources and strength than you realize.