By Sara Forcella, See the Triumph Contributor
Since I have become invested in Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) research and advocacy, one of the main roadblocks that I have come to along the way is getting audiences to fully understand the scope of IPV. When you are not directly affected by IPV, it is easy to push its very existence to the back of your mind. Because we create these boxes for ourselves, and because we choose to separate ourselves from public health concerns such as IPV, we are only contributing to the stereotypes and judgments that go along with them.
The simple truth is that as a member of this society, especially if you are a woman, IPV does and should matter! Think about your grandmother, mom, aunt, sister, daughter, and friends- at least one of them has likely been a victim of, or affected by IPV. Maybe you have even dealt with IPV and never even realized it.
Intimate partner violence is much more common than we tend to think. It’s so easy for our society to attribute certain stigmas or preconceived notions to what IPV is, who abusers are and who it affects; but the truth is out there. The truth can be found in statistics,research and most importantly in the stories of survivors. These truths are all why IPV matters!
5 Truths to Know:
This last fact, that most incidents of domestic violence are never reported, is something that we can all help to change. We need to understand that IPV affects all of us in one way or another. For instance, think of four women who you know, and then consider that at least one of them most likely has been, or will be, a victim of domestic violence.
Think of the people you know who range from the ages of 20 to 24. According to the NCADV, these are the people who are at the greatest risk of being in a relationship in which IPV is present. If IPV was not something that mattered to you in the past, then consider what you might do to help address this problem in the future.
Even if you have never been directly affected by IPV, there are still many ways that you can get involved with your community and help those who are victims and survivors. Ultimately, intimate partner violence needs to start mattering.