Help put a stop to domestic violence
Sadly, we are once again learning of more incidences of domestic violence as we turn on the local news. It’s a good idea to learn more about the issue because you may need to help a friend or a loved one in a bad situation.
According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV), domestic violence is the willful intimidation, physical assault battery, sexual assault or any other abusive behavior as part of a systematic pattern of power and control perpetrated by one intimate partner against another. This type of abuse has reached epidemic levels affecting individuals from every community, regardless of age, economic status, sexual orientation, gender, race, religion or nationality.
Battering is an intentional act used to gain power and control over another person. This can be between spouses, boyfriend and girlfriend, parent and child or within any intimate relationship where one individual is trying to control another.
There are several warning signs that a person may be an abuser, such as telling a person they can never do anything right, showing jealously of friends and time spent away, keeping a person from seeing friends or family members, embarrassing or shaming someone with put-downs, controlling every penny spent in the household, preventing a person from making his or her own decisions, destroying property or threatening to hurt or kill pets, intimidating with guns or other weapons or pressuring a person to use drugs or alcohol.
There is help for those fleeing domestic violence including three local shelters: St. Jude House, Crown Point, www.stjudehouse.org; Haven House, Hammond, www.havenhouse.org; and the Caring Place, Valparaiso, thecaringplacenwi.org.
There is also help for those individuals caught in this type of behavior. Manalive Placer County is a non-profit program committed to helping men age 16 and older to stop violence to themselves, their intimate partners, their families and their communities. The program teaches individuals to be aware of their actions by learning to identify the four types of violence – emotional, verbal, physical and sexual.
Participants in the program learn to get in touch with their emotions and gain compassion and forgiveness for themselves and others. They learn about ways to calm themselves down before they lose control by pausing and breathing in slowly for eight seconds and out slowly for four seconds. Repeating this action four times relaxes the body and helps the person clear his or her mind.
In 1997, NCADV began identifying what would be needed to implement batterers’ intervention programming in Indiana. Now there are court ordered batterers’ intervention programs operating around the state.
Crown Counseling Services in Crown Point offers therapy options for batterers. For more information, call 219-663-6353 or visit the website at www.crowncounselingservices.com.
We all want our home to be a sanctuary. A place of peace and rest, not violence. We can all work together to end domestic violence.
Rep. Olthoff (R-Crown Point) represents portions of Lake County.