Story By: Michael Friedman

“Since the 1994 passage of the landmark Violence Against Women Act, championed by then Sen. Joe Biden, our Nation has strengthened its response to this crime and increased services for victims. Still, far too many women and families in this country and around the world are affected by domestic violence. During National Domestic Violence Awareness Month, we recommit ourselves to ending violence within our homes, our communities, and our country.” — President Barack Obama, Proclamation 8424, Oct. 7, 2009.

“The care of human life and happiness, and not their destruction, is the first and only object of good government.” — Thomas Jefferson

In October, America will celebrate its eleventh Domestic Violence Awareness Month, one of the only accomplishments of President Barack Obama that President Trump has not tried to undo.

Domestic Violence Awareness Month has been part of the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence since 1987. Here are the facts:

  • Every nine seconds in the United States a woman is assaulted or beaten. On average, nearly 20 people per minute are physically abused by an intimate partner in the United States.
  • Domestic violence is the leading cause of injury to women—more than car accidents, muggings and rapes combined. Every day in the United States, more than three women are murdered by their husbands or boyfriends.
  • Nearly one in four women will experience domestic violence during her lifetime. Slightly more than half of female victims of domestic violence live in households with children under the age of 12.
  • In California, approximately 40% of women and 27.3% of men will experience intimate partner domestic violence in their lifetimes.
  • In 2018, 166,890 domestic violence-related calls were made to law enforcement in California. In California, an average of 124 women per year are murdered at the hands of an intimate partner, and of these 45% were in the process of separating. In 76% of the cases involving a history of violence, family, friends, or co-workers were aware of the abuse. In one out of five cases, a person other than the primary victim, often a child, was severely injured or killed at the time the murder of the woman took place.  A recent study by Rutgers University found a surge in domestic violence cases nationwide during the Coronavirus pandemic and a UCLA report found similar statistics in Los Angeles related to the shelter in place recommendations.

Locally, victims of domestic violence are serviced 24 hours a day by Shelter from the Storm in Palm Desert, the Coachella Valley’s only comprehensive domestic victim assistance service and shelter provider.

In October, take some time to recognize the widespread incidents of domestic violence and do whatever you can to recognize people who are victims or potential victims of this pervasive problem. If possible, do whatever you can to support the Coachella Valley’s treasure, Shelter from the Storm.

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