Domestic violence is more than a slap to the face or bruise to the eye.

It’s humiliating, stalking, manipulating, threatening and even isolating a person. It’s constant badgering through social media or with non-stop text messages and phones calls, but it’s also constant use of the silence treatment. It’s calling someone stupid for so long the person begins to believe it’s true.

Domestic violence comes in many forms and it affects millions, both women and men, from all walks of life.

According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV), 1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men have experienced a form of physical violence by an intimate partner. This includes a range of behaviors (e.g. slapping, shoving, pushing) and in some cases might not be considered “domestic violence.”

A study of intimate partner homicides found that 20% of victims were not the intimate partners themselves, but family members, friends, neighbors, persons who intervened, law enforcement responders, or bystanders, according to the NCADV.

Approximately 19.3 million women and 5.1 million men in the U.S. have been stalked in their lifetime.

The NCADV states 1 in 15 children are “exposed” to intimate partner violence each year, and 90% of those children are “eyewitnesses” to the violence.

Victims of intimate partner violence lose a total of 8 million days of paid work each year. The cost of intimate partner violence exceeds $8.3 billion per year, according to the NCADV.

Domestic violence can even lead to death.

Approximately 72% of all murder-suicides involve an intimate partner — 94% of the victims of these murder suicides are female. The NCADV states between 2003 and 2008, 142 women were murdered in their workplace by their abuser; such cases amounted to 78% of women killed in the workplace during that timeframe.

If you or a loved one is a victim of domestic violence, don’t hesitate to speak up and reach out for help. The crisis hotline for Domestic Violence Crisis Services (DVCS) in Albertville is 256-891-0019.

The organization’s shelter can house up to 16 women and children. The DVCS offers services to help victims get back on their feet to live life free of violence.

If you’d like to donate to the DVCS, The Reporter is currently conducting a supply drive for the organization through United Way of Marshall County.

Items being collected for the DVCS include: mops, brooms, dust pans, laundry detergent, dish detergent, Clorox, Clorox wipes, glass cleaner, Pine Sol, disinfectant spray and garbage bags. These can be dropped off at The Reporter’s office, located at 1603 Progress Dr. in Albertville.

Other means of helping the DVCS can be found by visiting dvcsal.org or calling 256-891-9864.

Our View On the Issue is an opinion of The Reporter’s editorial board that includes Publisher Kim Patterson and Managing Editor Taylor Beck.

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