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The Mental Health Impact of Domestic Violence:

Being in a relationship is supposed to be safe and welcoming. It should be with someone that you care for and trust. However, many relationships don’t end like fairy tales. 

Starting in 1987, Domestic Violence Awareness Month was created to end violence against women and children. The Domestic Violence Awareness Project focuses on three themes throughout the month: mourning those who have died because of domestic violence, celebrating those who have survived and connecting those who work to end violence.

According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV), almost 20 people per minute are abused by an intimate partner. That’s 10 million people a year. Partner violence makes up 15% of all violent crime in America. In addition, there are more than 200,000 phone calls placed to police every day about domestic violence. 

Domestic Violence wears many masks and can be described in numerous ways, but the four common categories are rape, stalking, homicide and child domestic abuse. Each of these categories contain their own terrifying statistics. Almost 20 people per minute are abused by an intimate partner in the United States. Along with that, one in four women and one in nine men experience “severe intimate partner physical violence.” Though you can see the physical trauma on a person who is a victim of domestic abuse, you cannot see the mental impact of their abuse. 

Numerous studies have shown the link between domestic violence and depression or suicidal behaviors. Suicide is the secondleading cause of death in the world for the ages 15-29 and since most domestic abuse victims are age 18-24, it makes sense that suicide falls into that age range. Victims of domestic abuse are also likely to experience anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder. 

Victims stay for numerous reasons that don’t make sense to people who have not been in their shoes. All we can do is help them, and we can start that by acknowledging Domestic Abuse Awareness Month in October. At NAMI, we can help you if you are experiencing a mental illness due to domestic abuse. We have weekly support groups, a family navigator that can lead you to the help you need and classes for you to express your needs.

 Do not hesitate to call and if you find yourself in a bad situation, call the domestic abuse hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233).

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Brooke Crockett is a third year student at the Ohio State University with an anticipated graduation of May 2020. She is majoring in Strategic Communication and double-minoring in Professional Writing and Nonprofit Studies. She is the current marketing/PR intern for NAMI Greater Toledo.