October marks domestic violence awareness month
ST. JOSEPH COUNTY, Ind.—October marks Domestic Violence Awareness Month that started back in 1981.
A local woman day center in South Bends helps women in need and offers resources to help them get back on their feet.
St. Margaret’s House helps women struggling with economic poverty and address the need of women and offer referral services on a case by case basis. The assistant executive director said it’s a safe haven for women and children to come to.
“My mantra that I live with every day here is, what I said to you earlier, it’s not what’s wrong with you its what’s happened to you. And trying to see through that lens is really critical and really important,” Mary Fran Brandenberger.
St. Margaret's House caters to women and children in the community that need help. Many of these women have experienced some form of trauma in their lives. Domestic violence is an issue that thousands of people face on a daily basis.
Incidents of domestic violence aren’t always physical, they can be emotional, verbal, or sexual.
St. Margaret’s House did a guest survey in 2019 asking women at the center if they’ve ever been abused. 54 percent said they’ve been abused emotionally, 49 percent said verbally, 53 Percent said physically and 33 percent said sexually.
Brandenberger said the intake they do at St. Margaret’s House is informational.
“Informing relationships with people, we often get to the story of what’s going on and when we get to that story, what we try to do, we try to address how we can best support the induvial. Whether it's referring them to a domestic violence group or a therapist,” Brandenberger.