The Blog of Toledo Lucas County Public Library
October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month and for the last two years, The Steinem Sisters Collection has partnered with the Bethany House of Toledo to exhibit a portion of Northwest Ohio’s Silent Witness Project. The Silent Witness Project is an important initiative meant to bring awareness to domestic violence homicides through the stories of women who have been lost. Through the stories the Silent Witness Project shares, the real cost of domestic violence to the women, their families, and their communities takes center stage.
Although the remembrances and memorials for these women may look different this year, COVID-19 has made it more important than ever for communities across the country to recognize, talk about, and address the growing number of women killed in domestic violence homicides. The social factors that increase the risk of domestic violence are the same factors that many have been enduring during the pandemic: limited access to resources, strained finances, and separation from social support systems. Additionally, the repercussions of COVID-19 have led to increased stress due to job loss – temporary or permanent – and for victims of domestic violence, this means that they’ve also lost their temporary escape from their abuser. Many of the opportunities for outreach have either been eliminated or drastically reduced, and the line that connects victims to their support systems has been disconnected. It makes evident that the focus on domestic violence in 2020 is needed now more than ever. This is where our initiative comes in – our partnership with the Bethany House serves to prioritize victims and create a space that brings a sense of community and support.
For additional information, check out the below community resources as well as reading suggestions through the Steinem Sisters Collection.
YWCA of Northwest Ohio | Provides support for domestic violence victims by serving as advocates and educating victims on judicial process. They are also available to answer questions regarding abuse and any related legality issues. The YWCA is also the founder of the HOPE center, a rape crisis hotline, which can be contacted at 419.241.7273 or 866.557.7273.
Domestic Violence Resource Center | Provides victim support by assisting with filing protection orders, as well as offering contact information for resources such as shelters, diapers, and essentials for children.
Action Ohio | Action Ohio is a statewide coalition founded to provide support for domestic violence victims and survivors. Their mission is to make quality programs, services, and resources all accessible to both empower domestic violence victims as well as eradicate family violence in communities.
24 Hour Crisis Response Team | Available 24/7 to provide short term crisis intervention, suggest additional resources for each unique case, as well as educate victims about their available resources. For immediate help, you can contact the crisis response team at 419.245.3324 or 419.245.3127.
FURTHER READING SUGGESTIONS
Snyder is an award-winning journalist who provides an intimate look at domestic violence in the United States, debunking its myths by exposing how more common, central social crises are embedded in the abuse that happens behind closed doors. This book will serve useful for those who are interested in learning more about the deep-rooted issues of domestic violence in society and expanding their perspective.
Do you have a family member or friend that is exhibiting symptoms of domestic violence? Are you unsure of how to handle it? Emily Weiss’s book provides guidance to the family and friends of domestic abuse victims, with hopes of generating stronger support systems and communities. This piece helps one identify a silent domestic violence victim, how to approach them about it sensitively, as well as how to be supportive in a productive way.
Dangerous Relationships: How to Respond to the Seven Warning Signs of a Troubled Relationship
By Noelle C. Nelson
Not everyone is sure of the exact moment that they entered an abusive relationship because it very often does not happen all at once. This book is for those who need verification of their abusive (or potentially abusive) relationship by pointing out the seven warning signs and patterns that can predict violence in a relationship; once acknowledging the patterns, Nelson goes into detail about how to respond and deal with a potential or active abuser.
Additionally, although this post references October as Domestic Violence Awareness Month, it is important to note that the provided resources are accessible 24/7 and constantly strive to ensure support and education for victims and their families all year round.