October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. This awareness effort began in 1981. The Violence Against Women Act was passed in 1994. I write about it every year right here. But it is now 2019, and still so many remain misinformed or just unaware about the scope of this experience, as well as the supports available. While we seem to be getting more comfortable discussing previously taboo subjects such as mental health, sexual orientation, and parenting fails, domestic violence remains hidden behind closed doors and picket fences.
Maybe it’s the term “domestic violence” that allows us to proclaim “not me” when there is no physical violence in our relationships—none of the black eyes, bloodied lips, or bruises that we’ve seen in the movies. No tragic drama that we read about in the news that ends in the death of the victim, sometimes along with their family members and even the perpetrator. These horrifying, BIG stories provide yet another buffer from recognizing domestic violence in our own homes and neighborhoods. But it’s here. To date in 2019 alone, Darien has had 46 domestic violence-related police reports, resulting in 16 arrests.