Northville holds village-wide walk for domestic violence awareness

Northville School District students, staff and community members pose for a photo after walking in the Walk for Domestic Violence Awareness on Thursday. (The Leader-Herald/Briana O'Hara)

NORTHVILLE — Students, staff and community members walked for Domestic Violence Awareness throughout the village on Thursday with some carrying signs that read “End the violence,” “Domestic violence prevention call 1-800-855-9723” and “1 in 7 men are victims of domestic violence.”

This was the second annual domestic violence walk and coin drive sponsored by Students Against Destructive Decisions with proceeds going to the Fulton County Domestic Violence program, which is housed at The Family Counseling Center.

“I look forward to doing this every single year and hopefully we can have more and more people attend because we do feel awareness is important,” said Carla Williams, third-grade teacher and co-advisor of SADD.

Darlene D’Onofrio, team leader with the Fulton County Domestic Violence program said domestic violence crosses all lines, including economic and racial. It can happen to men, women and teens.

Domestic violence can be either physical, emotional or sexual.

Northville students participate in the school's Walk for Domestic Violence Awareness on Thursday. (The Leader-Herald/Briana O'Hara)

“It can be anything from physical abuse — which is what you normally would think of — to things like controlling behavior when you’re not allowed to go to work, not allowed to see certain friends, or you’re not allowed to have keys to your car, banking information, or things the other person puts upon you to control you,” D’Onofrio said.

She said people will often be socially isolated by their domestic partner, sometimes not even allowing them to associate with family members as well.

“We’ve been finding so much more of that than the physical abuse,” D’Onofrio said. “Sometimes people don’t realize that really is domestic violence.”

The Fulton County Domestic Violence program has a domestic violence shelter which can house up to nine people — women, children or men.

The shelter provides them with all essential needs and supplies such as clothing and food. They also enroll children in school if need be.

D’Onofrio said it’s important to educate youth because young children and teens are most likely seeing domestic violence or similar issues in their homes.

“As they grow up, they’re kind of having the same sort of cycles in their relationships and not realizing it as domestic violence,” D’Onofrio said.

According to a pamphlet by the Fulton County Domestic Violence program, in the United States a woman is battered by her partner every 15 seconds; more than two million women are battered every year; and men can also be victims of relationship abuse.

Some warning signs can be controlling money or refusing to let someone keep any money; refusing to let someone have their own transportation; hitting, biting, pinching, scratching, pushing, slapping or forcing sex; calling demeaning names, yelling, ignoring someone or putting someone down; and threatening to take children or threatening to kick their partner out of the home.

“We need to spread awareness. I feel that it should be heard more, especially in small communities. It’s everywhere,” said Avery Bradt, president of SADD.

Anyone who may be in a relationship with domestic violence or who knows someone who is can call the Fulton County Domestic Violence hotline at (518)725-5300.