News | Oct. 7, 2021

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month

By Michiel DeVito DSCC MWR Family Services Program Manager

Since 1981, October has been National Domestic Violence Awareness Month. The observance serves to educate communities, individuals, couples and families about the Family Advocacy Program services and other community resources that can help prevent domestic violence, raise awareness of community responsibility, and inform the community of the many ways to report domestic abuse.

Major news stories in 2021 have put domestic violence in the spotlight with high profile cases, concern from experts of increased family stressors, and sadly, increased occurrences as reported by law enforcement. Domestic violence has a number of subsets of family-based abuse. It includes intimate partner violence, child abuse and elder abuse – always with a focus on the “family” relationship.  The relationships that determine that the violence is domestic violence can be biological, formal or informal, and current or previous relationships. 

There are periods of time in all relationships that a high level of stress is experienced. Stress can be the result of negative events, financial concerns, change in employment or a joyous event such as a marriage, new job or a child’s birth. It’s that feeling of not knowing how to cope, what to do and the emotions that come with feeling overwhelmed that often lead to negative behaviors. 

One period of particular concern in family life is the birth of a baby. This joyous event brings major changes, new family routines, new roles as parents and the need for new skills. This change can be a challenging time as parents learn these new roles and become acquainted with their new baby. One particularly difficult period can be what has come to be known as, “The Period of Purple Crying.” During the early period of an infant’s development from birth to six months of age there’s a stage of crying that can be bewildering and frustrating to caregivers. How infants progress through this developmental stage is different for each child but all infants go through an increased period of crying.

Numerous studies have established a link between this period of increased crying and shaken baby syndrome. Shaken baby syndrome is abusive head trauma and can be caused by blunt force trauma or vigorous shaking. The effects of SBS are serious and can lead to brain injury and impact an infant’s cognitive development, vision and hearing as well as being fatal. There are tools available to help caregivers avoid becoming bewildered and frustrated. 

The Defense Supply Center Columbus Family Advocacy Program is introducing a new initiative to educate young parents called, “The Period of Purple Crying.” This program is research-based and educates parents on the development of infants and the role that crying plays in their development. The tools available via the program include direct contact and printed and digital materials. Participation in the program is free and available to the DSCC community. If you or someone you know is involved in caring for an infant, you can find more information on our Family Advocacy website or by calling the DSCC MWR Family Advocacy Program Manager  at 614-692-7217. 


OCTOBER AWARENESS EVENTS

The DSCC Family Advocacy Program will launch a series of awareness events in October highlighting the impact of domestic violence. These include:

Standing Witness exhibit throughout the month

  • Static exhibits throughout the installation
  • View the Standing Witness Exhibit stories on MWR's DVAM webpage.
     

Hope Garden Memorial Pedestal at Mission Park

  • A living memorial park dedicated to victims of abuse. During the month of October, you can visit Hope Garden and retrieve a DMVP token from the Domestic Violence Prevention Pedestal. The token can be worn to show solidarity with victims of domestic violence. Take your token to the Building 20 ITR Office and receive a domestic violence information and awareness items.

 

ONGOING PROGRAMS

Parent Resource Center at the Child Development Center

  • The Parent Resource Center is available throughout the year and provides parents with resources on healthy parenting, local resources for reporting abuse and positive activities that are available in the community to encourage healthy family activities.

 

The Period of Purple Crying Program

  • Parent resources designed to educate parents and caregivers on the crying characteristics of normal infant crying. Visit the Family Advocacy website for more information on this free resource.

 

DOMESTIC VIOLENCE STATISTICS

Statistics of Ohio domestic violence fatalities from July 1, 2019 – June 30, 2020 as reported by the Ohio Domestic Violence Network

  • 109 fatalities in 77 cases
  • 18% of cases involved children at the scene
  • 70% of fatal incidents involved guns
  • 13 fatalities were third-party fatalities (secondary victims to intimate partner violence)
  • 4 young victims were killed (two 2-year-old children, a 6-year-old child and a 17-year-old youth)
  • 22 cases involved both a homicide and a suicide
  • Military-associated domestic violence fatalities as reported to Family Advocacy Programs across all services during FY20:
    • 31 child abuse and neglect-related fatalities
    • 28 of the child victims were under 5 years old
    • 19 of the child victims were 1 year old or younger
    • 5 spouse abuse fatalities and 6 intimate partner abuse fatalities were reported to FAP

 

COLUMBUS-AREA RESOURCES AVAILABLE TO ASSIST FAMILIES AND REDUCE STRESS

DSCC Installation Family Advocacy Program, 614-692-7217

  • DSCC Installation MWR Links4Life
  • Help Me Grow, Ohio Department of Health: Help Me Grow is a voluntary family support program for pregnant women or new parents. Offered in every county of the state through a well-established network, Help Me Grow is an evidence-based program that promotes healthy growth and development for babies and young children. The home visitors are well-trained professionals who use a non-judgmental and compassionate approach that empowers parents with skills, tools and confidence to nurture the healthy growth of their children. 1-800-755-GROW (4769)
  • CAP4Kids (The Children’s Advocacy Project of Columbus, Ohio)
  • The Period of Purple Crying, A research-based parenting program to help parents understand and cope with the dramatic period of crying most present from 2 weeks to 6 months of an infant’s life. Please contact the Family Advocacy Manager for access to this program by email or call 614-692-7217.

 

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