Why Domestic Abuse Education Needs to Reach Further

01-26-2017 9:02 AM

This week, I read about a domestic violence case in Minnesota that ended with the wife’s murder.

As I read the comments under the Facebook post, I realized that many women don’t even realize they are being abused.

That means, these women would never seek out a women’s shelter or look online for information in the most obvious sites geared toward domestic abuse.

Some of the most effective programs may indeed be outside the traditional domestic violence network.

For instance, just this month, a new Illinois law requires all hairstylists, nail techs and cosmetologists to have one hour of abuse-prevention training. The law doesn’t require stylists to report violence but trains them about local help and resources they can share with clients.

So whether your state has a law or not, I think this is a great idea to share information with stylists. Especially in our digital age, we just don’t get much face-to-face time with friends. A hair, facial or nail appointment may be the only opportunity some women get to talk in a private environment.

I’ve also seen domestic violence brochures placed in my doctor’s office and in my church. Many shelters also give presentations at schools, colleges, sorority chapter meetings and other women’s group meetings. If you’re in charge of planning any type of meeting for women, consider domestic violence as your topic.

Here’s a shout out to a few sites with some great resources that provide education to an audience not necessarily seeking out domestic violence help.

Focus on the Family offers free online articles about understanding emotional abuse.

Family Life Today has free downloadable audio, transcripts and links to help women identify abuse.

Women’s Health, operated by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, provides a checklist of signs of abuse.

The Mary Kay Foundation℠ has free, printable brochures that you can download for meetings.

Help us spread the word about what abuse looks like. If you’re already doing that, let us know how! We’d love to hear from you.

Stacy Graves is contributing editor of The Mary Kay Foundation℠ blog. Stacy loves to hear from you. She continues to be amazed at how prevalent domestic abuse and violence is in our culture. She’s passionate about educating women about abuse so they can be free. You can connect with her at stacy@wordcoaching.com, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest.