October’s Domestic Violence Awareness Month: The Signs and How to Help

The Know More Program and Marjaree Mason Center team up with Fresno City College’s Psychological and Health services to spread awareness for domestic violence with activities, candy, and flyers with information regarding domestic abuse on Oct. 20.

Photo by: Alexis Martinelli

The Know More Program and Marjaree Mason Center team up with Fresno City College’s Psychological and Health services to spread awareness for domestic violence with activities, candy, and flyers with information regarding domestic abuse on Oct. 20.

Abuse, neglect and death – domestic violence could be happening to a loved one. It’s important to understand why October’s National Domestic Violence Awareness month is here and how to help. 

Domestic violence can include physical violence, threats, emotional abuse and sexual violence by an intimate partner. 

According to national statistics, nearly 20 people per minute are physically abused by an intimate partner, that is more than 10 million women and men in the United States each year.

Social withdrawal, anger, use of illicit drugs, alcohol dependence, and depression in loved ones can be the symptoms for someone experiencing abuse. 

According to Joyful Heart Foundation, lack of emotional support could lead to these symptoms as well as heightened fear, anxiety, PTSD and even suicidal ideation.

Approximately 65% of murder-suicides involves an intimate partner and 95% of the victims are female according to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence. (NCADV) 

According to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, on average, every 11 minutes a woman or girl is killed by someone in her own family. In 2020, around 47,000 women and girls worldwide were killed by intimate partners or other family members.

It’s important to understand that men also experience domestic violence.

In 2021, about 41% of women and 26% of men found themselves in at least one type of domestic abuse situation, according to the CDC.

Half of male victims don’t mention their abuse to anyone while one in three victims of domestic abuse are male, equating to 757,000 men, according to the ManKind Initiative. Between April 2015 to March 2020, an average of 12 men per year had been killed by a partner or ex-partner.

In the event that a sexual assault, domestic assault,or stalking occur, SCCCD’s Annual Security and Fire Safety Report states it is important that victims should refrain from showering in order to provide sustainable evidence while in a medical examination.

FCC held a Domestic Violence Awareness Day event at the Veteran’s Square on Thursday Oct. 20 to share resources and spread awareness with contributions from FCC’s Title IX, Health Services and Psychological Services. 

Students and staff were encouraged to wear the color purple which symbolizes courage, peace, honor and dedication to ending violence. Purple is also used to remember and honor victims and survivors of domestic violence.

Students were also asked to take photos together using the hashtag #purplethursday on their social media platforms to further raise awareness

Each campus has resources available through student services, along with community resources such as Marjaree Mason Center. 

Marjaree Mason Center partnered with the Know More Program for this event, which is a program to inform teenagers on the importance of domestic violence, raising awareness and providing resources.  

The tables at the event held brochures and fliers providing information on how to recognize signs of domestic violence, hotline numbers and coloring activities related to domestic abuse. 

According to State Center Community College District Police Chief Jose Flores, the police department shows full support for victims of domestic abuse who are available on campus to help.

Flores urges people to reach out to counselors to start a strategy to remove themselves from these situations as quickly and safely as possible. 

Domestic abuse victims should also find a Title IX Coordinator as every college typically has one or two available to help, Flores said.

Title IX is a civil rights law that protects people from sex-based discrimination in an institution that is federally funded, according to Deputy Title IX Coordinator at FCC, Gladdey Donsanouthit. 

“I handle the complaints and reports. If there is any kind of sexual harassment or some kind of sexual misconduct, then you come see me. And that’s why it was important for me to tell my department to do some kind of awareness event for domestic violence,” Donsanouthit. 

According to Flores, Oct. 1 of every year the SCCCD’s Clery Report gets updated. 

Flores encourages people to check their school’s Clery Report for information on what has happened on each SCCCD campus or SCCCD’s police department website for additional information.

If someone is suspected to be in a domestic violence situation, there are multiple ways to help and get help. “Love is caring, love is all kinds of things, but it’s not violent,” Flores said.  

The National Domestic Violence Hotline is available 24 hours and seven days a week at 1-800-799-7233 or text START to 88788.