October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month and it could not have come at a more important time. An estimated one million American women and over 800 thousand men are assaulted by an intimate partner every year, but experts worry that these numbers will increase in tough economic times.
According to a recent survey conducted by the Mary Kay Ash Foundation, 73 percent of domestic violence shelters nationwide have witnessed a rise in abuse and believe that increase is connected to the economic downturn.
In Philadelphia, Women Against Abuse has seen the increase already. Current shelter space may not be enough to handle the volume of women and children seeking help. Women Against Abuse had to turn away more than 2500 woman and children in the first eight months of the year, which is double the number of people turned away during that same time last year.
The current economic climate leads to higher stress and worry in families with less available resources for them to turn to. Those who may once been able to seek shelter with a family member or friend may find themselves turned away because their loved ones no longer have the resources to help.
To bring attention to domestic violence issues, Women Against Abuse is starting a citywide anti-violence movement that calls on ordinary Philadelphians to help end violence at home and in the community. The campaign recognizes that unhealthy relationships at home not only destroy families, but also compromise the health of our entire city.
Get involved today by signing a pledge against violence. By making this pledge, you will join Women Against Abuse in strengthening our neighborhoods and our City.