October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and we are so fortunate here in Tampa Bay to have a strong network of community organizations leading the charge to support survivors. During this month, Champions strives to bring awareness to how domestic violence affects our community and our children, and connect individuals to resources that are working to end family violence. For those who experience it directly, domestic violence is a traumatic experience. Many people do not realize that children, who are often witnesses to this violence, are also deeply impacted.
According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, 1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men have experienced some form of physical violence by an intimate partner. In Florida alone, more than 100,000 cases of DV were reported last year. In 60% of those cases, it was also reported that children were exposed to domestic violence and nearly half were assaulted themselves.
Children who are impacted by domestic violence are more likely to have difficulty in school, abuse drugs or alcohol, suffer from depression and other mental health issues, and/or be a victim of domestic violence themselves as adults. The good news is these children can recover from the impacts of witnessing domestic violence by being believed and supported, and by having positive caring adults to help them feel safe.
The Spring of Tampa Bay and the Crisis Center of Tampa Bay are organizations in our community that work to raise awareness about domestic violence and provide resources to domestic violence survivors. The Spring has a 24-hour crisis hotline (813-247-7233) that helps survivors create a safety plan, listens to concerns, offers connections to community resources, and placement in their emergency residential shelter. The Crisis Center of Tampa Bay also has a 24-hour hotline (2-1-1) where survivors can call for help with many different types of crises.
We encourage our community to visit these organizations’ websites and learn about the resources that are available here in Tampa Bay. Becoming knowledgeable about the resources available will allow you to offer help in the event that you or someone you know needs it. If you think that someone you know is a victim of domestic violence, please call 2-1-1 and someone from the Crisis Center of Tampa Bay’s team will assist you.
The physical abuse or neglect of children in homes where domestic violence occurs is between 9 and 15 times higher than the national average. That’s one of the many reasons why domestic violence is such an important issue to us at Champions for Children, and to our partner organizations who work most closely with survivors. During Domestic Violence Awareness Month, we encourage you to take a few moments to check out the links below to learn about how domestic violence impacts all members of a family, and the opportunities to support organizations in our community who are here to help.
Links to Resources:
Visit The Spring of Tampa Bay
Visit The Crisis Center of Tampa Bay