Domestic Violence Awareness

by Yasmine Dabash

October is Domestic Violence Awareness month and, on October 11, Hilbert College’s Black Student Union and Human Services Association hosted a Domestic Violence presentation. At the event, which counted as a passport event for freshman students, two Haven House representatives, Lauren Gousy and Jillian Hanesworth, discussed domestic violence statistics, what to do in circumstances involving domestic violence, and resources for domestic violence survivors.

According to the presenters, the number one cause of injury in American women is domestic violence. One out of four American women and one out of seven American men are survivors of domestic violence. Survivors often leave abusive relationships between seven and ten times before permanently escaping. Although these statistics are shocking, what is even more shocking is the fact that one in every three domestic violence homicide victims are African American women.

Physical and sexual abuse may be the most recognizable forms of domestic violence, but there’s more to it, including these five categories:

Emotional abuse – Emotional abuse is defined as any act including confinement, isolation, verbal assault, humiliation, and intimidation.

Psychological abuse – Examples of psychological abuse include verbal aggression, dominant behaviors, and jealous behaviors.

Economic abuse – Economic abusers have total control over their intimate partner’s economic resources, thus making it so that the victim (or survivor) cannot support herself.

Sexual abuse – Sexual abuse includes marital rape or any other form of sexual assault, forced use or withholding of birth control, and threats regarding an intimate partner’s sexuality.

Physical abuse – Physical abuse is the non-accidental use of force to inflict bodily injury, pain, or impairment.

If you suspect a family, friend, or loved one is suffering from domestic violence, let them approach you regarding the subject. Don’t be afraid to tell them that you are concerned for their safety and want to help. If they do open up to you, do not blame them, give them advice, call 911, or tell your own story. Instead listen to them, support them, and provide them with resources they can use at their own discretion.

A great resource is Child and Family Services Haven House. Haven House is a domestic violence shelter that was founded in 1979. Survivors can stay at the shelter for up to 90 days and receive counseling, education, and empowerment during treatment. Since its inception, Haven House has helped more than 26,000 survivors. If you ever need Haven House’s shelter or any of its other services, their contact information is listed below.

Haven House Information:

Erie County’s 24-Hour Domestic Violence Hotline: (716) 884-6000

Haven House’s non-emergency contact number: (716) 884-6002

Haven House’s media contact: Mary Cornwell, Chief Development Officer (716) 335-7050

Haven House’s website:

If you are in danger, do not access the website listed from a shared or monitored computer. Instead, call 911, Erie County’s 24-Hour Domestic Violence Hotline, or (716) 862-HELP [4357].

 Hilbert College Clubs and Organizations Information:

If you are interested in joining Hilbert College’s Black Student Union, contact Tanya Moreta at (716) 649-7900 ext. 243 or visit her office at 103B Bogel Hall

If you are interested in joining Hilbert College’s Human Services Association, contact Colleen Kumiega at (716) 649-7900 ext. 306 or visit her office at 110 Bogel Hall


Yasmine Dabash is an aspiring lawyer, social justice advocate, and world traveler who loves all things fluffy. Yasmine is a Legal Studies student at Hilbert College set to graduate in June of 2020.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s