October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month and Cathy Van Maanen, a spokeswoman for SafePlace in Le Mars, says it’s likely all of us knows at least one domestic violence victim. “Domestic violence happens every day in every community,” Van Maanen says. “No community, large, small, rural, urban, no community is immune and yes, the statistics are startling.”
While the numbers are far more serious for women, Van Maanen says domestic violence is not just a women’s issue. “About one in 25 men are abused in a relationship as well, so it affects people from all walks of life,” Van Mannen says. “It does not discriminate as far as what someone’s income is, what their living situation is, their faith, their age.”
Van Maanen says domestic violence doesn’t necessarily have to mean an assault has occurred, as it can also be emotional and mental in the struggle for power and control. “The abuse might be financial, maybe they control all of the money,” Van Mannen says. “Maybe they control how the children are raised. They might control whether or not that person can go visit family or friends or work. They really circumscribe every piece of their life.”
Van Maanen says possible red flags in a domestic violence relationship may include a spouse that checks phone calls, or constantly looks at the spending of money from their spouse or significant other.
(By Dennis Morrice, KLEM, Le Mars)