Domestic violence is an epidemic. We know that one in four women (24.3%) and one in seven men (13.8%) aged 18 and older in the United States have been victims of severe physical violence by an intimate partner in their lifetime. It can happen to anyone, in any place, no matter the income level, age, race or sex.

Domestic violence is a pattern of abusive, controlling and/or violent behavior toward a partner in an intimate relationship. It is often accompanied by emotional abuse that is part of a larger systematic pattern of dominance and control.

Domestic violence can result in physical injury, psychological trauma, and in severe cases, death. The devastating physical, emotional and psychological consequences of domestic violence can cross generations and can last a lifetime.

Taking action: The Jeanne Geiger Crisis Center responds to the needs of families in crisis due to domestic violence. Our mission is to empower individuals and engage communities to end domestic violence. Last year with the philanthropic support that we received, the center provided 10,712 direct services to 1,032 adults and 301 children at no cost to them.

Of the services provided:

52% were advocacy and support, helping survivors better understand what they have experienced and providing them with the tools to move forward.

36% were counseling, providing survivors and their families with a wide range of evidence-based and proven therapies that enable them to heal from trauma.

12% were legal services, protecting, empowering and assisting survivors with a variety of legal matters such as divorce, custody, visitation, child support, housing and immigration.

58% were provided to families with an annual income below $20,000. The center was also able to provide $26,763 in emergency financial assistance to those who needed help.

Warning signs: Are you concerned that someone you care about is experiencing abuse? Maybe, you’ve noticed some of the following red flags:

Their partner puts them down in front of other people.

They are constantly worried about making their partner angry.

They make excuses for their partner’s behavior.

Their partner is extremely jealous or possessive.

They have unexplained marks or injuries.

They’ve stopped spending time with friends and family.

They are depressed or anxious, or you notice other changes in their personality.

If you are worried about a friend, family member or yourself, call the Jeanne Geiger Crisis Center at 978-465-0999. We offer free confidential help.

Suzanne Dubus is CEO of the Jeanne Geiger Crisis Center, jeannegeigercrisiscenter.org.

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