No Longer Silent about Domestic Violence

The month of October is dedicated to spreading awareness of domestic violence and those who are or have been victims of it. Henry Ford College’s Office of Student Affairs took that duty to heart this month and brought “The Silent Witness Exhibit” to HFC. The exhibit is in the Health Careers building until Oct. 30th. In the center of the exhibit is a table that offers information about domestic violence and asks participants to sign a pledge against it. Surrounding the table is a collection of different stories shown on red silhouette cut outs of victims. All of the stories are true and many of them end with the victim’s death.

According to Woodbridge Township’s Domestic Violence Response Team, there are five categories of domestic violence including Physical, Sexual, Economic, Psychological, and Emotional. Most people don’t realize that abuse does not have to be physical, which is a crucial piece of information that many victims do not learn about until the situation becomes dangerous.

Safe Horizon, a non-profit organization dedicated to providing victims of domestic abuse with the resources necessary for recovery, stated that over 60 percent of abuse happens behind closed doors. The result of this private abuse is a feeling of isolation in the victims who are left to carry the burden of their pain alone. It is also yet another reason to encourage victims to be vocal and transparent about what they’re going through.

Communities all over the world are taking measures to stop domestic violence. Downtown Canton hosted its fifth annual “Walk a Mile in Her Shoes” event this month, the Susan B. Anthony Project held their 27th annual candlelight vigil, and other similar events have been taking place throughout the month of October. Vice President Joe Biden, co-author of The Violence Against Women Act, spoke during the seventh Biennial National Conference on Health and Domestic Violence in Washington, DC. At the conference, Biden thanked the many men and women who attended saying, “All of you in this room who are doctors, nurses, researchers, [and] social workers from all across the country, the fact that we are talking today about domestic violence as a public health epidemic is because of you. We have come such a long way in our fight against this epidemic, but we have to keep making the case even stronger for prevention and intervention.”