The world wants to believe that domestic violence will never affect us or anyone we know, and that controlling relationships are a fact of life for ‘other people’. Discussions of domestic violence are often relegated to health classrooms, women’s rights summits, and public service announcements.
But the reality is that domestic violence occurs everywhere.
Individuals and families living with abuse feel deep shame, debilitating isolation, and paralyzing fear. They despair that no one will believe them, and no one can help them. Psychological and emotional abuse, degrading verbal abuse, sexual abuse, threats against family and pets, financial control, constant surveillance, cyber stalking, intimidation, and separation from all supports create an immobilizing terror. Challenging an abusive partner often leads to increasingly debasing and brutal control. In more extreme cases, it results in death.
Jacquelin Apsler, Executive Director of the Domestic Violence Services Network (DVSN), commented on recent events in York, Maine, “This is an immensely tragic story that happens far too often within toxic relationships of power and control. Our hearts and prayers go out to the families and friends left with such a huge loss.”
The Domestic Violence Services Network (DVSN) follows up on police-involved domestic violence incidents and reaches out to Bedford families living with domestic abuse. Bedford Police make arrests due to domestic situations, from restraining order violations to strangulation and intimidation.
DVSN partners with the Bedford police and 11 other police departments in the surrounding communities providing a coordinated community response to domestic violence. Together they help break the cycle of abuse, connect families with community resources, assess risk, and help victims plan for safety. They start to break down the isolation that victims face and let them share their stories with trained advocates, who give them non-judgmental affirmation and support on a confidential basis. DVSN advocates also work at the Concord District Court.
Learn more at https://www.dvsn.org, or call 888-399-6111 if you need help.