Clothesline Project
A Clothesline Project display of T-shirts designed and decorated by families to bring greater awareness to domestic abuse.

SCHOFIELD BARRACKS, Hawaii (Oct. 11, 2013) -- Stigmas are very prevalent in our society.

Merriam Webster defines "stigma" as "a set of negative and often unfair beliefs that a society or group of people have about something."

Arguably, the most common stigma associated with domestic violence is that men cannot be victims. However, according to the National Violence Against Women Prevention Research Center, more than 830,000 men in the U.S. are victims of domestic violence, annually. This fact translates to one man subjected to domestic abuse every 37.8 seconds.

Sadly, stigmas keep people from seeking help. This reality is especially true with male victims of domestic violence.

Many men believe if they report domestic violence, they will not be taken seriously. The truth is, abuse is about power and control. Abusers believe they have the right to manipulate, control and humiliate another person.

The key to addressing domestic violence in our community is a two-part process: recognizing and reporting.

To recognize domestic violence, it is important to know the warning signs, which include the following:

•Your partner calls you names, insults you or puts you down.
•Your partner prevents you from going to work or school.
•Your partner stops you from seeing family members or friends.
•Your partner tries to control how you spend money, where you go or what you wear.
•Your partner acts jealous or possessive, or constantly accuses you of being unfaithful.
•Your partner gets angry or violent and blames alcohol/drug use for his/her behaviors.
•Your partner threatens you with violence or a weapon.
•Your partner hits, kicks, shoves, slaps, strangles or otherwise hurts you, your children or your pets.
•Your partner forces or coerces you to have sex.
•Your partner blames you for his/her violent behavior or tells you that you deserve it.

The second part of the process is to report domestic violence when it occurs.

If you or anyone you know is experiencing domestic violence, call the 24/7 SAFE Line at (808) 624-SAFE (7233).

Anyone can be a victim of domestic violence. Those who abuse do not discriminate.

Recognize it. Report it. Stop it.

Army Community Service can offer educational briefings upon request to promote awareness and public education about domestic violence, child abuse, stalking and more.

For more information, contact the Family Advocacy Program at 808-655-4ACS (4227).

(Editor's note: Ledford is a victim advocate with the ACS Family Advocacy Program.)

Page last updated Thu October 10th, 2013 at 21:42