October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. It evolved from the “Day of Unity” held in October 1981, which was conceived by the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV). The “Day of Unity” soon grew into a week-long event, and in October of 1987, the first National Domestic Violence Awareness Month was observed.
According to the NCADV, “Domestic violence is the willful intimidation, physical assault, battery, sexual assault, and/or other abusive behavior as part of a systematic pattern of power and control perpetrated by one intimate partner against another. It includes physical violence, sexual violence, psychological violence, and emotional abuse. The frequency and severity of domestic violence can vary dramatically; however, the one constant component of domestic violence is one partner’s consistent efforts to maintain power and control over the other.”
The NCADV further explains, “Domestic violence is an epidemic affecting individuals in every community regardless of age, economic status, sexual orientation, gender, race, religion, or nationality. It is often accompanied by emotionally abusive and controlling behavior that is only a fraction of a systematic pattern of dominance and control. Domestic violence can result in physical injury, psychological trauma, and in severe cases, even death. The devastating physical, emotional, and psychological consequences of domestic violence can cross generations and last a lifetime.”
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 10 million adults experience domestic violence annually. One in four women and one in nine men will experience domestic violence in their lives. On a typical day, domestic violence hotlines nationwide receive more than 20,000 calls.
“These numbers are both astounding and frightening,” said Michael Ian Bender, co-founding partner of Caesar & Bender, LLP. “Sadly, I’ve seen my share of domestic violence cases when I was a domestic relations judge for the Circuit Court of Cook County,” he added. “And, unfortunately, Molly and I have seen the harsh reality of domestic violence in some of the cases within our practice,” he continued. “Thankfully, we’ve been able to help our clients navigate the intricacies of the court system, and obtain orders of protection when necessary, so they are safe and protected.”
Raising awareness of domestic violence is so important, not just for one month, but every day of the year. If you or someone you know is a victim of abuse, please get the help you need. For anonymous, confidential help 24 hours/7 days a week, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 (SAFE) or 1-800-787-3224 (TTY). You are not alone. Caesar & Bender is here for you.