A Pillar of Defense in Colorado Springs

Why does domestic violence often feel invisible?

It's well known that domestic violence is actually quite common. In fact, some reports have claimed it's more common for women to experience it than for them to get breast cancer, diabetes, or cervical cancer. Yet, even so, it often feels like an invisible issue. Below are a few reasons why:

1. People blame the victim, not the abuser. When people think the victim is in some way at fault, they may have less sympathy and not feel like the issue needs addressing. Some people simply blame the victim for not leaving the situation and think it's up to him or her.

2. People assume it won't impact them. For example, there is a stereotype that domestic violence only happens to those living in poverty and dealing with substance abuse issues. While this isn't true in reality, people who don't have these other issues often ignore domestic violence simply because it feels like something that only matters to others.

3. People consider it a private issue. It often happens between spouses and intimate partners. People are hesitant to talk about someone else's private life and relationship.

4. People feel like they can't actually stop it. They may not talk about it because they're not aware of the various things that can be done to put an end to the abuse. Again, they may also assume there are other factors -- like poverty -- that are really the issues that need to be solved.

There are things that can be done to stop domestic violence, which impacts all types of people. For instance, one tactic is the use of protective orders. Those in Colorado Springs need to know what these legal options are and how to utilize them.

Source: Mary Byron Project, "Why Is Domestic Violence ‘Invisible’?," accessed July 29, 2016

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