Intervention Aroostook 10.27.2020

Intervention Aroostook
Intervention Aroostook(wagm)
Published: Nov. 3, 2020 at 8:13 AM EST
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PRESQUE ISLE, Maine (WAGM) -October is domestic violence awareness month. But victim advocates say the work of educating the public about this serious community issue goes on throughout the year. And THIS YEAR, during a pandemic, the work is even more critical. Especially when substance abuse is factored in. Let’s a look at how.

The coronavirus pandemic has been problematic in a number of ways, including the deadly combo of substance & alcohol abuse and domestic violence. A study by the American Psychological Association reports excessive use of drugs or alcohol increases a person’s chances of becoming abusive, and the mental anguish of domestic violence causes many victims to turn to dangerous substances. Victims advocates say while the pandemic HAS been a challenge in helping people in need...they’ve still managed to meet the challenge head on.

Stephen Tibbert Educator/Victim Advocate, Hope & Justice Project

“a lot of services are done over the phone rather than in person a lot of what we do as far as advocacy can be done over the phone and the advocacy movement was started by way of the phone and while we’re not doing face to face we are still able to meet the need of the clients we serve.”

Shawn Cunningham NO STANDUP

But domestic violence is a very real and common problem. In fact, the CDC reports 62% of female victims and 18% of male victims of intimate partner violence commonly report feeling fearful and having concern for their safety. Some red flags to look out for include:

Emotional abuse and manipulation

Physical violence, either once or repeatedly

Stalking or monitoring daily activities

Controlling the victim’s money or sabotaging their employment

Harming or threatening to harm their children

Sexual violence

Victims advocates say its important to change dialogue and thinking of people in this kind of crisis...

Chelsie Higgins Johnson Educator/Victim Advocate, Hope & Justice Project

“set an example in how to not victim blame so for example one question you can ask is as opposed to why doesn’t she leave and why is he abusive or why is that person doing that to another person and so that’s a start, if people started examining their language they would see it most often does put the blame on the victim.”

Something she says needs to societally change. But what has changed, and in fact has grown exponentially is their commitment to empowering victims and communities with awareness about this often times silent crime. For more information contact the Hope & Justice Project at Call the 24-hour hotline at 1-800-439-2323. Shawn Cunningham, NS 8.

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