Advocates are getting the word out about domestic violence and dispelling some myths.
Shannon Barry, Executive Director of Domestic Abuse Intervention Services , says we still just don't talk about domestic violence enough in our society. So, she's helping to raise awareness.
"Nationally we know that one in four women will be a victim of domestic violence in her lifetime. In the community that our agency serves, about 1/3 rd of the arrests are domestic violence related."
Barry says a victim can be almost anyone, including pregnant women, and an abuser can be even people you might not suspect, but society continues to hold onto certain stereotypes.
"Statistically, domestic violence occurs with equal frequency in all socio-economic statuses and class statuses regardless of educational background, racial and ethnic background, it occurs also in the LGBT (lesbian gay bisexual transsexual) population – it's not just a heterosexual issue."
Barry says we have seen an improvement over the years in the way first responders, criminal justice system and health care professionals respond to domestic violence victims.
As they celebrate their 30th anniversary and acknowledge all the progress, Barry says her group has asked Gloria Steinem to speak at their event later this month (luncheon at Monona Terrace on Tuesday, October 16th), calling her an iconic advocate who represents the movement.
October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month.
NOTE: Domestic Abuse Intervention Services (DAIS) has been serving children and families in Dane County for 30 years. The group is affiliated with Wisconsin Coalition Against Domestic Violence. Reservation deadline for the Gloria Steinem luncheon is October 8th. Call 251-1237 or visit www.abuseintervention.org for more information.