Submitted by the Domestic Violence Services Network

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month – a special time for us to recognize the staggering truth that more than 12 million people are victims of domestic violence in the United States each year.

These 12 million victims are women, men, and children of all ages from all religions, cultures, and sexual orientation. The problem crosses all socioeconomic levels. Bedford and our neighboring communities are not immune.

According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, one in every four women has been the victim of severe physical violence by an intimate partner, and one out of seven men have experienced the same. One in three adolescents in the U.S. is a victim of physical, sexual, emotional, or verbal abuse from a dating partner.  Domestic violence is an issue of epidemic proportion.

About the Candlelight Vigil on October 26

Toni Troop, Director of Communications & Development at Jane Doe, Inc., will speak on “Hope and Resilience in the Face of Loss and Violence” during the special candlelight vigil held by Domestic Violence Services Network, Inc. (DVSN), together with the Sudbury Wayland Lincoln Domestic Violence Roundtable. The observance, Light in the Darkness Candlelight Vigil,  will take place at 6:30 pm on Thursday, October 26 at the Lincoln-Sudbury Regional High School,  390 Lincoln Rd., Sudbury, MA The public is invited. A light dinner will be served following the ceremony.  Please call 978-318-3421 for more information

What can you do when someone you know is being abused?

Your instinct may be to “save” them from the relationship, but that can be counter-productive. There are many reasons why people stay in abusive relationships and leaving can be the most dangerous time for a victim. Abuse is about power and control; help to empower a victim to make their own decisions at a pace that works for them. You can offer support in these following ways:

You can offer support in these following ways:

  • Acknowledge they are in a difficult and frightening situation.
  • Be supportive and listen without judgment.
  • Respect their decisions. There might be many reasons they stay of which you are unaware.
  • Recognize that leaving is a process that is dangerous. It will take time and many attempts; do not express frustration or disappointment.
  • If they leave the relationship, continue to be supportive; they will need to mourn the loss of the relationship, even though it was abusive.
  • Encourage them to participate in activities with family and friends without it feeling like pressure to them.
  • Encourage them to call the confidential DVSN helpline (1-888-399-6111). Talk to people who can provide help and guidance; research resources that can help them.
  • Seek professional advice and guidance on how to be supportive while managing your own frustrations and fears.

How else can you help?

You can get involved in the fight against domestic violence:

  • Show your support by attending the Candlelight Vigil at LSRHS on Thursday, October 26th at 6:30 pm.
  • Train with DVSN to be an advocate or volunteer with the development and events team.
  • Help with education and outreach efforts.
  • Invest in DVSN’s efforts to combat domestic violence in our communities through your financial donation.

About the Domestic Violence Services Network ~ DVSN

DVSN is a nonprofit organization that works in collaboration with police and other partner agencies from Bedford and 12 other communities to provide advocacy, outreach, and education in the effort to combat domestic violence.

If you or someone you know is in a relationship affected by domestic violence, please seek help. Local resources available are the DVSN Confidential Helpline (888-399-6111), local police departments and clergy.

Help is also available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, from the National Domestic Violence Hotline (1-800-799-SAFE).

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