In a town where so many strive, and often seem to achieve perfection, it can be hard to admit you need help. Everywhere you look, there are perfect cars, perfect people, perfect clothes and especially, perfect families. So when faced with a problem such as domestic violence, it is tempting to hide behind that veil of perfection and hope to ride it out, expecting things to get better. Because, often in this town, it can seem like it’s better to pretend than for others to know the truth.
Perhaps that’s why domestic violence remains one of the most underreported crimes against women. Domestic violence survivor Janine Latus talked about her experience at the Darien Library last week. Both Latus and her sister were victims of domestic violence. Latus lived to tell her story. Her sister did not.
Latus pointed out that often victims remain so because abusers strive to isolate them — and they don’t tell someone what is going on. Latus’ sister Amy had written a note 10 weeks before she went missing to the local sheriff identifying her boyfriend as the person responsible if something happened to her. Despite the sisters’ closeness, Latus pointed out that Amy had never confided in her about the abuse.
Latus said she speaks to others because she couldn’t save her sister — so she hopes to save “other Amys.” She urged attendees to tell someone if they are being abused, and to “go save someone” who might be in an abusive place.
- On average, nearly 20 people per minute are physically abused by an intimate partner in the United States. During one year, this equates to more than 10 million people.
- 1 in 4 women and 1 in 9 men experience severe intimate partner physical violence, intimate partner contact sexual violence, intimate partner stalking involving injury, fearfulness, or post-traumatic stress disorder, and the use of victim services.
- 1 in 4 women and 1 in 7 men have been victims of severe physical violence — such as beating, burning, strangling — by an intimate partner in their lifetime. *
The confidential 24-7 domestic violence helpline is 888-774-2900.
For information on the Darien Domestic Abuse Council, visit www.ddacinc06820.org.
If you or someone you love is in an abusive situation, tell someone — call someone — help someone.
What do you have to lose by doing so?
More importantly — what do you have to lose if you don’t?
* Source: National Coalition Against Domestic Violence