Every year, more than two million men and women in the U.S. will become a victim of domestic violence, according to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV). Women are even more prone to risk as one in four women will experience domestic violence in her lifetime according to the NCADV.
October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and Collin College Police and the Plano Police Department are offering a free seminar at 1 p.m. on Oct. 30 at the Spring Creek Campus Conference Center to combat domestic violence. Collin College police chief Michael Gromatzky said education is crucial to raising awareness.
“The best way to combat domestic violence is to be informed. Everyone should learn about the cycle of violence and establishing appropriate boundaries,” Gromatzky explained. “It is never acceptable for someone to hurt you, even in the middle of an argument or the ‘heat of the moment.’”
The majority of violent offenders are men, but there are also many cases of domestic violence where women are aggressors, Gromatzky said. Children are also targets of domestic violence, whether through actual victimization or as secondary victims by witnessing the violence.
Gromatzky said the signs of domestic violence within a relationship vary, but include:
- Your partner pushed, shoved, held you against your will or kept you from leaving some place.
- Your partner slapped, bit, kicked, choked, hit, punched or threw things at you.
- Your partner locked you out of the house or abandoned you in a dangerous place.
- Your partner refused to help you when you are sick, injured or pregnant.
- Your partner subjected you to reckless driving.
- Your partner threatened or hurt you with a weapon or object.
- Your partner controlled your money and prevented you from working.
- Your partner threatened to hurt you, your family or to take your children.
A friend or family member should be aware that the following signs may indicate abuse:
- Frequent bruises or injuries that do not seem to match the explanation of how they occurred.
- A person’s behavior suddenly changes and or a person may become distant.
- A person’s partner prevents him or her from spending time with friends and family.
- A person may begin abusing alcohol or drugs to cope with abusive or controlling behavior.
If you or someone you know are in danger, Gromatzky advises immediately calling 911 for help and assistance. The Collin College Police Department can be reached at 972.578.5555 and provides around-the-clock police service and can respond to domestic violence situations and offer protection. Additionally, the Collin County Council on Family Violence’s website offers resources at ccc-fv.org.
“Do not hesitate to call the police to prevent violence,” Gromatzky said. “Remember that you are not getting someone in trouble.”
Collin students and employees can utilize counseling services at Collin. To contact the counseling office, call 972.881.5126 or email Personalcounseling@collin.edu.