For the seventh summer, Channel 13 is Shattering the Silenceon domestic abuse. I have been leading this campaign since I began my job as WTHR’s Community Affairs Director and, we continue, because the problem never ends. Domestic abuse affects one in four American families. It is not always physical, but mental, verbal, emotional, sexual and financial abuse. Although 85+ percent of reported abuse victims are women, men, too, are abused. Experts say they are just less likely to report it.
This year, as part of Shattering the Silence we are focusing on the impact of domestic abuse on children and teen dating abuse. News Anchor Scott Swan and I have produced some stories in July and we will do the same in August. You can click here to see a few of the stories that have already aired and to get a full overview of our campaign, including how to recognize the red flags of abuse; how to teach your teenagers to ‘choose respect’ in relationships; and how to join us in shattering the silence by donating time or money to area service agencies.
On my Noon Focus interview segment, Monday through Friday, I will also do a weekly report or interview on domestic abuse issues. We will bring on some domestic abuse experts to talk about the problem. If you have any questions that you would like for me to ask an expert, please blog with me. We will not list your name or identity on air on this particular subject. If you have any general thoughts to share about domestic abuse, you can also blog with me. We may share excerpts of your thoughts on Focus, but again, we will not identify you on air.
Today, I am also including some advice about domestic abuse from “Carol the Coach.” Carol is a Personal Life Coach and a Marriage and Family Therapist in Indianapolis. She appears regularly on my Noon Focus segments. As part of Shattering the Silence, Carol has shared some information about abuse. See her comments below:
***COMMENTS FROM “CAROL THE COACH“:*******************************
Domestic abuse is an epidemic. For simplicity’s sake, I am going to be addressing physical abuse as opposed to verbal, emotional or sexual abuse that also occurs in many families.
Physical abuse perpetrators can be both men or women, although there is a higher # of reported cases with men being the perpetrators. Research shows that children who live in a home with physical abuse will learn the maladaptive patterns and either grow up to be perpetrators or victims of sexual abuse.
So how do you break the cycle of abuse and stop it from generationally occuring in families for years to come?
It starts with education
Children and their parents need to know what abuse is and need to have resources to learn other coping skills to combat the intimidation factor that promotes abuse or the need to physically control another person,
WTHR has made it a mission to identify what abuse is and to talk about what you can do to get the help you need. My 3 minute segment resulted in 3 calls the same afternoon in which viewers wanted to make an apt with me to learn how to stop the abuse. I wonder how many other households wrote the phone number down but did not call that day?
It continues with resources.
There are centers all over the Indianapolis viewing area that have resources available to men and women to stop abuse.
The Julian Center has been instrumental in creating resources for women and children including groups, individual therapy and in-services that will teach women the skills to get out of abusive relationships and gain the confidence to manage life with out a perpetrator in one’s life.
Indianapolis Psychiatric Associates runs emotion regulation groups that teach both men and women how to manage the anger so that families can begin to cope with the frustrations of life differently and change the typical response to stress and control.
And it is managed with on going practice of the life skills that everyone in the family will need to use to protect themselves and their loved ones.
- Families will need to learn limits and boundary setting.
- Self esteem will need to be improved.
- Perpetrators will need to learn anger management techniques and practice them daily. They will need to develop lots of extra support so that they stay in recovery.
If you are an abuser or the victim of abuse, you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will get you to the right resource that can begin to change your life. There will be no judgment about what you have been through or what you have done. Identifying that you have a problem is the first step to changing your life and creating the life that promotes safety and respect for everyone in the family.
Carol the Coach
If you have any questions for “Carol the Coach”, she will answer some of your questions on Wednesday, August 26th during our Noon Focus interview segment. You will remain anonymous. Click here, for more on submitting your questions.
Thank you for helping us shatter the silence.
WTHR Community Affairs Director