Wednesday, October 26, 2016
From The Indiana Lawyer:
A shirt hanging on the wall of the Evansville YWCA reminds visitors: "Your safety, love and happiness matter." Another cautions: "Build your home with love, don't break your home with hate."
Domestic violence affects more than 10 million people a year in the U.S., but almost half of those incidents go unreported. Organizations such as the Evansville YWCA and Albion Fellows Bacon Center are hosting programs throughout October — domestic violence awareness month — to encourage reporting domestic abuse.
The clothes hanging in the YWCA lobby are part of the annual Clothesline Project, which spotlights domestic violence with a gallery of shirts designed by survivors to represent their personal experience. Many carry messages of hope for the next person who leaves an abuser.
"People just create the most beautiful piece of art to express their journey," said Erika Taylor, CEO of YWCA Evansville.
Some shirts' messages are simple, with phrases like "love should not hurt" painted inside hearts. Others carry a reminder to the person who painted them: "I have a voice, I am worthy ... I deserve love."
More than one in three women and one in four men in the U.S. say they were physically abused by an intimate partner at some point in their life, according to a national survey conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The survey results, published in 2010, also showed almost one in 10 women in the U.S. have been raped by an intimate partner.
While domestic violence is common, victims do not always report it. The Bureau of Justice Statistics estimates only 56.1 percent of domestic violence incidents in 2014 were reported to police. That rate improves, though not by much, when it's restricted to intimate partner violence, committed by current or ex-spouses, girlfriends or boyfriends.
Read more here.