Domestic violence awareness month: struggles for pregnant, indigenous people
Monday, October 9, 2023
October is domestic violence awareness month. The issue remains prevalent across the nation and in Idaho.
Nearly one in three women experience domestic violence in their lifetimes. there were ten domestic-violence related fatalities in Idaho.
But tai simpson, collective stewardship co-director with the Idaho Coalition Against Sexual and Domestic Violence, said it's more than just physical violence.
"It's removing somebody and isolating them from their friends and families," said Simpson. "It is ridicule, it is jokes and pranks, it is violence against children and animals. It is financial abuse - preventing somebody access from money, and funding and food and a car - or preventing them from going to the doctor, or to church, or to their jobs."
Simpson said it's important to help young people understand healthy relationships by modeling appropriate behavior, and to empower them with sex education and access to reproductive health care.
She said domestic violence against pregnant people is also a problem. More than 320,000 pregnant people nationally are abused by their partners every year.
"When a person is not able to wholly and fully make a decision about being pregnant for themselves," said simpson, "then we start to move into the realm of pregnancy coercion as part of domestic violence."
Simpson said the issue is also of heightened importance for indigenous people, and claims it's compounded by inter-generational trauma caused by white supremacy and settler colonialism.
"Indigenous people not only are facing higher than normal rates gender violence in our communities, but are also still facing passive genocide from heart disease, from addiction issues, from suicide," said simpson. "Our suicide rates are astronomical."
People in need of help can call the national domestic violence hotline at 1-800-799-7233. There are also local programs and organizations available in Idaho.
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