Oct 22

Domestic Violence Awareness Month

Ask. Listen. Believe.

“Earlier this month, Department of Human Services Director Erinn Kelley-Siel directed the attention of DHS employees to the fact that October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. The numbers can be overwhelming – during 2011, Oregon domestic and sexual violence programs received 175, 295 calls for assistance and were unable to meet 20, 681 requests for shelter. The United States Department of Justice estimates that at least 25% of American women during their lifetime will experience violence at the hands of a partner, spouse or loved one.”

“The work of the Office of Adult Abuse Prevention and Investigations brings us close to many of Oregon’s victims because they are our clients and the adults that we investigate reported abuse on behalf of. They are made particularly vulnerable to abuse by virtue of their increased dependence on others, a diminished ability to communicate, disability, lack of information about abuse, or a perceived lack of credibility and limited options and resources.”

“The Crime Against People Disabilities section of the 2007 Crime Victimization Survey, conducted by the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics, reports that people with disabilities experience violent crimes, including domestic violence and sexual assault, at rates that are 1.5 to 2 times higher than the general population. People with cognitive functioning disabilities suffered the highest rates of violent crime than populations with other types of disabilities.”

“For the Office of Developmental Disability Services and all of our community partners, our professional responsibilities and moral obligation is to be vigilant for the potential of domestic violence involving those we support. To do this we need to ask, listen and believe.”

Continue reading