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Bringing attention to rising domestic violence

Anger, rage, violence. We see it in the streets across the country via media. But we don’t think about the anger, rage and violence that occurs behind closed doors in intimate partner relationships as the melting pot in the United States erupts. Just because we don’t see it doesn’t mean it isn’t there. COVID-19 has contributed to the problem of domestic violence with restrictions on where and how one can go, and limiting escape from escalating violence in the home.

“We are seeing increased cases of domestic violence coming in for services,” advises Eloise Traina, chief executive officer of Family Recovery Center.

And it isn’t a problem only in the United States. It is global.

In April the New York Times reported a rise in DV around the globe. It has been tagged “intimate terrorism.”

“Prolonged repeated trauma can occur only when the victim is in a state of captivity, unable to flee, and under the control of the perpetrator,” writes Judith Lewis Herman in “Complex PTSD: A Syndrome in Survivors of Prolonged and Repeated Trauma.”

Captivity, she explains, is a victim’s “prolonged contact with the perpetrator, creates a special bond of relationship, one of coercive control … physical, economic, social and psychological means.” And these include sexual and domestic relationships.

“The perpetrator becomes the most important person in the life of the victim, and the psychology of victim is shaped over time by the actions and beliefs of the perpetrator.

How? He traps his victim by repeatedly traumatizing her, causing her to feel terrified and helpless, to obliterate her self esteem, not just in their intimate relationship but in allof her relationships so she becomes fully dependent on him. The abuser doesn’t want his victim to feel anysense of independence or freedom.

“As long as the victim maintains strong relationships with others,” Herman writes, “the perpetrator’s power is limited so the abuser wants to isolate his victim.” He wants there to be only him, to assure her that she has no emotional ties to anyone but him.

“Nearly one in three women experience IPV (intimate partner violence) and approximately one in four experience severeIPV,” writes Eva Valera, Ph.D., in her article “When lockdown is not actually safe: Intimate partner violence during COVID-19,” which appears at Harvard Medical School’s Health Publishing site. Severe injury and death are very real

In Columbiana County, there is help available to victims through Christina House, Ozer Ministries and agencies like Family Recovery Center. Christina House can be reached at 330-420-0036. Cathoic Charities Regional Agency can be reached at 330-420-0845.

Artisans Against Domestic Violence will be featured at the fifth annual art exhibit from 4:30 to 8:30 p.m. Sept. 12 at East Palestine Country Club, 50834 Carmel Achor Road, Negley. The event is funded by Columbiana County Jobs and Family Services and Ozer Ministries. For more information about the art exhibit, call 330-426-2147 or email artisansagainstDV@yahoo.com. Artwork will be available for purchase.

Addiction has no address, but Family Recovery Center does. For more information about the education, prevention and treatment programs for substance abuse and related behavioral issues, contact the agency at 964 N. Market St., Lisbon; phone, 330-424-1468; or e-mail, info@familyrecovery.org. Visit the web site at www.familyrecovery.org. Family Recovery Center is funded in part by Columbiana County Mental Health and Recovery Services Board.

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