Every year we raise awareness about domestic violence and abuse. Vigils and events are normally held across the county on Molokai, Lanai, and Central, East and West Maui during the month of October to shine a light on domestic violence, and how we as a community can come together to support and prevent. This awareness is now more critical than ever with UN Women declaring a shadow pandemic, as shutdowns have exasperated toxic environments.
Abuse is unfortunately as old as family. Its tentacles have wrapped its way throughout time and communities in every demographic, economic and social stature. It does not discriminate. Its roots are deep and often cyclical: a product of childhood trauma, parent modeling, patriarchy, stress, PTSD, mental illness, lack of empathy, impatience, disrespect, shame, control of others or sheer lack of self-control.
Domestic violence comes in many forms. It is not just physical abuse. It’s yelling, humiliation, belittling, manipulation, coercion, threats and isolation. It’s financial control of a paycheck, time off, keeping tabs online or non-stop texting, stalking either through daily movements or social media, constant use of the silent treatment, gaslighting, or calling someone stupid, or treating them like they are worthless so often that person believes it themselves.
Domestic violence affects millions of women, children, and men. It destroys relationships, families, self-worth, childhoods, and can have negative ripple effects that repeat again and again through generations upon generations. Community is key. We need to focus on prevention, intervention, support and treatment. We need to offer tools to help survivors walk away, heal and thrive and give perpetrators the tools to recognize their destructive behavior, heal the root cause and choose a different path. We need to strip away the shame and talk about it in the light. We need to heal as a community.
According to national statistics 10 million people in the U.S., regardless of gender, ethnicity, religion or social status are victims of domestic violence each year. Many are survivors, but sadly too many have died. Every day in the United States an average of three women are murdered by their husbands or boyfriends. On Maui we have witnessed the passing of two women allegedly at the hands of their partners in recent years: Charli Scott, who was with child, and Mo Monsalve.
On October 17 Women Helping Women (WHW) sponsored by The Committee on the Status of Women is hosting the 2020 Domestic Violence Awareness Event. “We are hosting a drive-thru awareness event featuring local nonprofits that supports survivors and their families experiencing domestic violence. During this challenging time we want to continue helping our community stay safe by following social distancing guidelines. This is a family-friendly event open to everyone! The location and time are still in the works but you can get up-to-date information on our website, WomenHelpingWomenMaui.com, or our social media pages on Facebook, Women Helping Women Maui, and our Instagram @WomenHelpingWomenMaui.” Sanoe Ka’aihue, ED WHW
Together we CAN stand strong. Together we CAN thrive.Together we will take one more step to reduce Domestic Violence for our women, our children, our men and our community!
OCTOBER is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month: Don’t stay silent. It’s time to speak up ALL month long. Domestic violence affects millions, both women and men, of every race, religion, culture and status. It’s not just punches and black eyes – it’s yelling, humiliation, stalking, coercion, threats and isolation. It is financial manipulation, keeping tabs online, gas lighting, or calling someone stupid so often they believe it. Everyone deserves a healthy relationship.