Running head: Operation Hope
Operation Hope 2
April 8, 2016
Everyone has the right to a life without abuse or the fear of living through violence circumstances on a daily basis. Safe Haven has been in operation since 1983, it is an organization that serve as a shelter for victims of domestic violence and sexual abuse. In Mississippi this organization serves several counties such as Lowndes, Oktibbeha, Clay, Monroe, Choctaw, Webster, Attala, Montgomery, Calhoun and Chickasaw. The website, WomenShelter.org provides access to finding shelters for those who are in need of these facilities quickly. Shelters offer refuge to abuse victims, but they also operate Hotlines, which are there in most cases so that the victims can find the resources for help and even just to have someone to talk too. They offer shelter, and also they assist with transitional housing, family shelters for those who have children, residential treatments centers, with other residential services for women. Furthermore, Safe Haven shelters are located in many state worldwide (Safe Haven Columbus Ms – Domestic Violence Shelter, 2016).
Suppling a safe haven or place to the women and children in our communities from domestic violence and abuse should be the responsibility of every society and culture. Even through there are numerous shelters within our communities that offer victims of violence and abuse a place of safety, but there are large recorded fatalities of violence against women, and the numbers are enormously higher than that of men.
The number of American troops killed in Afghanistan and Iraq between 2001 and 2012 was recorded as 6,488, whereas the number of American women documented as murdered by current or ex male partners during the same time period was 11,766. This example shows there have been more fatalities in violence against women than that of military fatalities during the war. Statistics illustrates that 85 percent of domestic violence is women and around 15 percent will be men (Vagianos, 2014).
The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence accounts the role of the victim and the fact that they must find alternate living arrangements as fast as possible, which could offer the protection needed against their abusers. We understand that domestic violence is the essence of willful intimidation, physical assault, battery, sexual assault, and/or other forms of abusive behavior as part of a systematic pattern of power and control that is perpetrated by one intimate partner against another. This could include physical or sexual violence, and also psychological and emotional abuse. The regularity and harshness of the abuse can differ significantly, but nevertheless the one constant component of domestic violence or abuse is one partner’s unfailing efforts to maintain power and dominates over the other partner (National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, 2016).
Violence against women includes all verbal, physical, and sexual assaults that intrudes upon the victim’s body. This ferocity has been identified as a major public health and human rights issue and is documented as a legitimate rights issue that is a substantial threat to women’s health. The highest level of violence and sexual abuse was reported to the victim’s medical providers such as psychiatric, obstetrics and gynecology clinics (Samia Alhabib, 2010).
Why do women suffer in silence at the hands of their abuser? The effects of any type of abuse is extensive which has a considerable effect on the health and emotional wellbeing of those who are affected. There are many cultural and social factors that suggest why women of all ages stay in relationships where they are being abused such as, psychological health issues of having a sense of their identity has been stripped away, how to get over the obstacles that the abuse seems to mount against them, and not being aware of the services in their communities that could help them leave the abusive life style (McGarry & Simpson, 2010).
Getting out of an abusive relationship isn’t simple. The victim may think things will change, or they’ll be afraid that their partner will discover that they’re trying to leave. They are probably under the impression that, they are trapped and don’t know about the resources that are available for them, which could include a crisis hotline, shelters, legal services and childcare. It is important to note that domestic violence does not always manifest as physical abuse. But emotional and psychological abuse can be just as extreme as the bodily kind of brutality. The absence of brute force doesn’t necessarily mean that the situation is not dangerous for the victim.
In the Essence periodical, “Break the Silence, Stop the Violence”, on this subject matter one in three African-American women has experienced domestic violence, and nearly 30 percent of us are likely to be in physically abusive relationships at any given time. Essence did an investigation on domestic violence and found several women, who had the courage to walk away from their abusers.
ESSENCE investigates the epidemic of domestic violence in our community and talks to four women who found the courage to walk away. Most people will believe that the victim has done something which caused the abuse and that it is their own fault, but the questions that we should be addressing is exactly how prevalent is domestic violence in our society? Or why does she stay in that violent relationship? There are many reasons why they may stay, perhaps by the time the batterer punches, burns, cuts or shoots her, the victim, she’s in all probability finds herself isolated from family and friends, she then becomes aware that she is reliant on her abuser for money, validation, even love. But the main issue is that she possibly is just afraid for herself and the lives and of her children. So most will endure the suffering and keep quiet (Stone, 2009).
Again the prevalence of domestic abuse against women remain high for women who are younger, economically dependent, unemployed and with children. Also in most cases abuse is perpetrated by the male partner against women, therefore it is evident that domestic violence is influenced by our social and cultural ideas within every community. Why and how the abuse began, the method of abuse, why do they live with this abuse or what they need to do to gain their independence are issues need to continually be the focus on for women who find themselves living in shelter’s while trying to focus on their children’s welfare and achieving safe housing (Jan Bostock, 2009).
Violence from an intimate partner also brings about environmental stress which results in mental health problems of depression, anxiety, and PTSD for women and also behavioral dysfunctions with the children who has suffered from abuse. If allowed intervention can produce problem-solving abilities that will be beneficial to/an increasing women’s skills or capabilities in finding ways to destress their lives and to have a positive influencing over the mental health of their children’s behavior (Maddoux, Symes, McFarlane, Gilroy, & Fredland, 2014).
Domestic violence shelters at one time was kept secret, for fear that the abuser would show up at the door. But Serenity, a shelter in an Arkansas community moved into a new facility and had a sign put out front. The director felt that if someone needed help the sign would permit any victim to find shelter faster. This shelter puts the safety of all its residents first, because the shelter is out fitted with security cameras and an alarm system for protection (Pieper, 2014).
Shelters for battered women provides a shield and serve as a hiding place for victims and is usually the last resort for most. The services that shelters provide for abuse women include, physical protection and refuge for the victims and their children, support and reinforcement for the women and their children, preparation for their return into the community, and enrichment programs as assistance for a new beginning.
Shelters in addition will provide information about alternatives to life with a violent partner, with the added boost and strength the women’s self-image grows and helping them to overcome their fear, anxiety, and other reactions that had manifest in their lives because of the violence they received from their perpetrators. In the shelter the women thrive on the supportive atmosphere they receive which allows them to develop positive relations with the other ladies in the shelter.
A study was conducted to relate how the battered women judged their experiences while living in a shelter. Most shelters have rules and regulations to which the residents must live by. These rules include times for leaving the premises, assigned duties, child care, babysitting, safety rules and precautions, rules in regards to any contact with their abuser, basically all procedures they would have to follow while living in and leaving the shelter.
While the data was gathered from September to March after receiving the proper authorization from the directors of the two shelters as well as being given approval from the Ethics Committee. The researcher proceeds to interview the residents of the shelters. During this time the victims came into contact with other women who had experienced the same circumstances with abuse. The ladies discussed their own experiences to life in shelter living (Muhammad, Haj-Yahia, & Cohen, 2009).
Shelters operate by donations and volunteers, during the 50th year anniversary the Mary Kay Inc. makes a sign substantial donation of $3 million dollars in grants that was to be divided between 150 shelters in 50 states in the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. Each shelter would collect in the amount of $20,000 to be able to maintain critical services and programs for the survivors of domestic abuse (The Mary Kay Foundation (SM) Announces $3 Million in Grants to Domestic Violence Shelters During Mary Kay Inc.’s 50th Anniversary Year, 2013).
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 (National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, 2016).
Safe Haven and other shelters are constantly working hard to provide safety and to encourage the victims to do extremely well with taking control of their lives, by making available activities that will ensure success in the undertaking of rebuilding their lives after abuse. So if more companies and leaders in our communities would follow the example shown by the Mary Kay Foundation, we could help all shelters to meet the extreme number of victims out there that need help in reestablishing the lives of these beautiful women who have suffered by the hands of others.
References Jan Bostock, M. P. (2009). Domestic Violence Against Women: Understanding Social Processes and Women’s Experiences. Journal of Community & Applied Social Psychology, 95-110. Maddoux, J., Symes, L., McFarlane, J. K., Gilroy, H., & Fredland, N. (2014). Problem-Solving and Mental Health Outcomes of Women and Children in the Wake of Intimate Partner Violence. Journal of Environmental & Public Health, 1-7. McGarry, J., & Simpson, C. (2010). How domestic abuse affects the wellbeinf of older women. Nursinf Older People, 33-37. Muhammad, M., Haj-Yahia, & Cohen, H. C. (2009). On the Lived Experience of Battered Women Residing in Shelters. Jounral of Family Violence, 95-109. National Coalition Against Domestic Violence. (2016). Retrieved from http://www.ncadv.org/need-help/what-is-domestic-violence Pieper, K. (2014, 2 13). Violence Sheltwr Comes Out of Hiding. Arkansas: USA Today. Safe Haven Columbus Ms – Domestic Violence Shelter. (2016). Retrieved from https://www.womenshelters.org/det/safe_haven_columbus_ms_domestic_violence_shelter Samia Alhabib, U. N. (2010). Domestic Violence Against Women: Systematic Review of Prevalence Studies. Jounral of Family Violence, 369-382. Stone, R. D. (2009, 6). Break the Silence, Stop the Violence. Essence. (2013). The Mary Kay Foundation (SM) Announces $3 Million in Grants to Domestic Violence Shelters During Mary Kay Inc.’s 50th Anniversary Year. District of Columbia: Business Wire. Vagianos, A. (2014, 10 23). Huffpost Women. Retrieved from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/10/23/domestic-violence-statistics_n_5959776.html