Domestic violence can be fatal for abusers, as well. Locally, 25% of domestic violence-related homicides have been homicide/suicides, and all of them were perpetrated by men. Keep in mind that firearms are used in more than half of all suicides among males.
Most victims do leave eventually. Leaving an abusive relationship is a process that happens in stages. While the vast majority of victims never go to shelter, in the short term they still need safety, time, and opportunity to make long term arrangements while fleeing their abusers.
Help is available. Artemis Center operates a 24/7 Domestic Violence Hotline in Montgomery County. Our advocates are always available to assist victims who need support and safety planning. We work to ensure that each victim has a personalized safety plan that is unique to their situation.
We offer supportive services, such as support groups and therapy for adults and children to promote long term healing. Our advocates accompany victims to both criminal trials and civil protection order hearings, providing support and information.
Domestic violence crosses all socio-economic, class, race and religious demographics. While Petito was white, Black, Latinx, and Native American women bear a disproportionately greater risk of gun death at the hands of their abuser than non-Latinx white women. Domestic violence also affects the LGBTQ Community at the same rates as their heterosexual counterparts.
Domestic violence is a community concern, not a private matter. The violence follows victims to work, worship, daycare centers, schools, grocery stores and on vacation. In the Petito case, domestic violence was part of #VanLife. Artemis is not alone in our efforts to end domestic violence. We collaborate with numerous community organizations to remove barriers for victims and increase their safety. At the state level, the Ohio Supreme Court recently issued new forms to facilitate the removal of an abuser’s guns as part of the Civil Protection Order process. We must hold abusers accountable for their actions and keep guns out of their hands. We must help victims, not blame them for the abuse abusers inflict on them. You can help. If you know someone who is experiencing domestic violence, refer them to the Domestic Violence Hotline at 937-461-HELP (4357).
Jane Keiffer is the Executive Director of Artemis Center.