The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Family abuse affects all, speaker says

By Alvis Allen/reporter

Which victims are at greater risk than cancer, diabetes or HIV victims?

According to Rebecca Farrow, vice president of community service for Safe Haven of Tarrant County, it is domestic violence.

“ Domestic violence is nearing epidemic proportions,” she said. “The number of cases reported is one in three households.”

Farrow, who spoke at a South Campus seminar Oct. 2, said many cases still go unreported.

The numbers
Statistics have shown that only 17 percent of men are abused, but a staggering 20 million households include women and children who are victims of domestic violence, Farrow said. Statistics also show that a woman is abused or victimized every 12 seconds.

“ These numbers are alarming,” she said. “It means someone you know or love is more likely to become a victim; it affects everyone.”

Farrow said abuse is not about the victim.

“ It’s about the abuser and control,” she said. “When it happens, there is nothing you can do to prevent the abuser from attacking.”

The victim
Most of the women who go to Safe Haven or other such organizations are typically ordinary average working mothers or homemakers, Farrow said.

Any woman can become a victim of abuse, Farrow said, because there is no criteria or demographics that say one group is any more at risk than any other.

Most women will remain in these situations for whatever reason seems important to them, whether or not they have means of providing for themselves. Farrow said the most documented response is simply they love their significant other.

Farrow said that a woman is seven times more likely to be murdered by her partner when trying to exit a relationship.

Signs of an abuser
So her audience could understand the cycle of violence, Farrow provided some self-assessment information.

The attention-building phase when the husband begins to set standards and demands for his expectations for his wife’s behavior.

The explosion phase when he begins to go into uncontrollable rage and violence.

The honeymoon phase when he begins to apologize for his rage and actions. This is also when he begins his courtship, buying gifts and providing some space. Farrow said it almost feels like true love again.

“ Domestic violence contributes to destruction of families,” she said. “And more importantly, the children who witness these vicious acts are more likely to become socially damaged creating a recurring cycle of violence.”

One thing counselors and help groups do primarily agree on, Farrow said, is that there is no certain way to prevent domestic violence, but an epidemic can be prevented and statistics decreased by making the public more aware.

Farrow said everyone needs an exit plan: hide important documents, save money, keep extra keys, know support groups and have a list of important numbers for resources.

“ I urge victims to set a code with your family members and friends to let them know you are in trouble,” she said.

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