MDFAWL teamed up with Dade Legal Aid on Sunday, October 27, 2019 and threw a Halloween party for the women and children living at a domestic violence shelter in South Florida. In the weeks leading up to the event, MDFAWL and its supporters collected costumes for the women residents and their children of all ages. At the event, volunteers brought their own children to help make the party even more successful. The women living at the shelter were given gift cards and other goodies, and the children received treats, toys, books, and even clothing. And they were able to make art projects, play outside, and enjoy a piñata. Thanks to Pro Bono Committee Chairs Amber Kornreich & Carolina Piñero for an amazing and meaningful day.
This event was extremely timely, given that October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month. We have come a long way since 1981, when the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence created a “day of unity” to connect battered women’s advocates across the country. Now, the entire month of October is dedicated to recognizing, helping, and supporting victims of domestic violence. But, we have a long way to go.
Nearly 3 out of 4 Americans personally know someone who is or has been a victim of domestic violence. And, given the statistics, chances are that someone you know is a victim, whether or not you know they are.
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. It 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.
If you are a victim of domestic violence or want to help someone you know, reach out to the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE for anonymous and confidential assistance. More information is available here.*
*Information from this blog post from the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence: http://ncadv.org.