District 15 Zontians
Impacting Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault
Domestic violence and emotional abuse are behaviors used by one person in a relationship to control the other. Sexual assault is conduct of a sexual or indecent nature toward another person that is accompanied by actual or threatened physical force or that induces fear, shame or mental suffering.
Somewhere in America a woman is
sexually assaulted every 2 minutes,
according to the U.S. Dept. of Justice
Domestic and Sexual Assault Statistics
Michigan & Canada
The majority of domestic violence victims are women.
1 of 3 women report being phuysically or sexually abused by a husband or boyfriend at some point during their lives.
More than 32 million Americans are affected by domestic violence each year.
Domestic Violence is the leading cause of injury to women.
Although victims may not report to police, many do turn to other informal sources of support, such as friends, family, co-workers, and doctors/nurses.
Females and youth are at particular risk of being sexually victimized. The rate of sexual victimization for females is about 5 times higher then the rate for males.
National Sexual Violence Resource Center
National Domestic Violence Hotline
Recognizing the warning signs and risk factors of women abuse is the first step.
He put her down
He does all the talking and dominates the conversation
He checks up on her all the time, even at work
He tries to suggest he is the victim and acts depressed.
He acts as if he owns her
He lies to make himself look good or exaggerates his good qualities
He acts like he is superior and of more value than others in his home.
She may be apologetic and makes excuses for his behaviour or becomes aggressive and angry.
She is nervous about talking when he's there.
She seems to be sick more often and misses work.
She tries to cover her bruises.
She makes excuses at the last minute about why she can't meet your or she tries to avoid you on the street.
She seems sad, lonely, withdrawn and is afraid.
She uses more drugs or alcohol to cope.
This information applies equally to gay and lesbian relationships. The situation may be more dangerous if, in addition to the warning signs: the couple has recently separated; the couple has custody and access issues; he has access to weapons; he is convinced she is seeing someone else; he has a history of abuse and he threatens to harm her children, her pets or her property.
Safety Planning is a top priority. Here are some important things you can do to increase your safety:
1. Tell someone you trust about the abuse
2. Gather important documents; all personal identification, financial and legal papers, house deed/lease, address book, medication and money/credit cards.
3. Put together valued pictures, jewelry and objects of sentimental value, as well as toys and comforts for your children.
4. Carry a photo of the abuser and your children with you.
5. Contact a women's shelter or the police. Ask for an officer who specializes in women abuse cases. He/she can help you do futher safety planning.
6. Consult a lawyer. Keep any evidence of physical abuse (such as photos). Keep a journal of all violent incidents, noting dates, events, and threats and witnesses.
7. Make sure your children's school or day care centre is aware of the situation and has copies of all relevant documents.
8. Do not tell the abuser you are leaving. Leave quickly.
9. Do not return to your home, unless accompanied by the police.
10. Never confront the abuser.
Domestic Violence and
Sexual Assault Resource Websites
Personal Security Self Defense and Resource Guide
Danger knows no bounds. It lurks around every corner when we least expect it. Nobody wants to deal with a life-threatening situation; however, everybody wants reassurance in knowing that they can defend themselves right down to the wire. Victims can employ.....Learn more>>
Zontians Learn From Other Zontians Valuable Information about Domestic and Sexual Violence Against Women at 2011 Fall Conference
Sharon Mortensen, Midland Club
Exec. Dir.-Council on Domestic Violence and
Sexual Assault (Shelterhouse)
Jane Mancinelli, Petoskey Club
Exec. Dir. - Women's Resource Center
Sharon Mortensen and Jan Mancinelli discussed the prevalence of violence against women, the reasons behind that violence and the social change that is necessary to end violence against women as well as advocacy efforts Zonta clubs can pursue. View the 'Violence Against Women' powerpoint to learn more.
Gayle Manley, Sault Ste Marie Club
Board Mbr. - Women in Crisis (Algoma) Shelter; Community Mbr - Algoma Council on Domestic Violence
Gayle Manley discussed "Neighbours, Friends and Families At Work' which is an Ontario-based campaign to raise awareness of the signs of domestic abuse so that employers, co-workers or people close to those at-risk can help. The presentation 'Domestic Violence in the Workplace, Neighbours, Families and Friends, illustrated the basic components of the campaign including why workplaces need to be involved, recognizing the warning signs and signs of high risk, understanding the dynamics of domestic violence and why victims do not leave and how to intervene safely and respectfully. To learn more about the Neighbours, Friends and Families At Work campaign and for helpful tools and resources, click here.