Expanding Domestic Violence Resources in Rural NC Counties
In the United States, nearly 20 people per minute are physically abused by an intimate partner. In one year, this adds up to more than 10 million women and men. Nearly 1 in 4 women and 1 in 7 men have experienced severe physical violence in their lifetime, and most cases of domestic violence are never reported to police.
At its core, domestic violence, also known as intimate partner violence (IPV), is a pattern of behaviors in which one partner will maintain power and control over their partner in an intimate relationship. This form of violence can happen to anyone yet the problem can be overlooked or denied. A common misconception is that abuse has to be physical, but it can be emotional as well. Victims of IPV commonly report feeling fearful, concern for their safety with symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder.
Ending Domestic Violence in North Carolina
The North Carolina Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCCADV) is leading the state’s movement to end domestic violence through training, technical assistance, prevention, legal support, and policy development.
NCCADV supports the local domestic violence agencies that serve North Carolina’s 100 counties and has worked with these groups to improve services for all survivors of domestic violence and their families.
Since 2015, NCCADV has worked with primary care physicians and domestic violence advocates to improve the healthcare response to IPV in diverse clinical settings and geographic areas of the state.
Through a $300,000 investment from Blue Cross NC, NCCADV will expand this work to rural counties where survivors may find additional barriers when accessing services.
The consequences for IPV are intensified in rural counties. Access to health, prevention, and protection services in the United States can vary across rural and urban communities. Survivors in rural areas have less access to domestic violence shelters, physical and mental health professionals, law enforcement and judicial personnel.
This greater need for IPV response is coupled with fears that healthcare professionals and domestic violence advocates know their abuser in smaller, more close-knit communities, according to the Health Resources and Services Administration.
Working with partners in rural settings will allow NCCADV to continue to grow IPV screening and response in our state while integrating this model into existing Community Crisis Response teams in three rural counties. Blue Cross NC funds will allow NCCADV to identify needs that are unique to survivors in rural communities and change the current model of screening and response for rural survivors.
Know the signs
The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence warns that you may be experiencing domestic violence if your partner:
- Decides what you wear and how you spend your money
- Checks your phone or email without your permission
- Threatens to hurt you, your children, or your pets
- Humiliates you on purpose with name-calling and shaming
- Forces you to have sex when you have not consented
- Discourages you or stops you from spending time with family and friends
- Threatens to hurt themselves because they are upset with you
- Blames you for their actions
- Accuses you of being unfaithful and says things like, “If I can’t have you, then no one can.”
- Destroys your belongings
Such abuse can cause depression, anxiety, chronic pain, irritable bowel syndrome, as well as physical injuries.
You can visit NCCADV online or call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233).