Domestic abuse cannot be a taboo subject

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, but unfortunately, many people are unaware of it.

Started in 1987 by the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV), this awareness campaign is highly under-recognized, but extremely important.

Many people are uncomfortable with the topic of domestic violence and often consider it taboo when discussing societal issues. Most cases of domestic violence are not reported to the police.

Only one in four people report physical assaults by partners, and one in five report rapes, says the NCADV. One in four women will be a victim of domestic abuse in her lifetime, according to the NCADV.

Our society needs to become more open about discussing this sensitive topic.

The effects of domestic violence extend beyond the scope of the immediate victim.

The NCADV reports that witnessing violence between parents is the strongest risk factor for carrying violent behavior into the next generation. This correlation is often seen in boys who witness domestic violence; they are twice as likely to abuse their own partners when they become adults.

Carnegie Mellon’s student life website has listed some community resources available for victims of domestic abuse including the Alle-Kiski Area Hope Center, Womansplace, Inc., the Women’s Center & Shelter of Greater Pittsburgh, and Center for Victims of Violent Crime (CVVC).

The philanthropic efforts of Alpha Chi Omega also serve to break this barrier on campus. Each October, the sorority organizes an event titled Walk A Mile in Her Shoes, in which men are sponsored to wear women’s shoes. Proceeds go to the Pittsburgh Women’s Shelter and the national chapter of Alpha Chi Omega. The campus chapter also sponsors other events throughout the year to combat domestic violence.

These efforts are admirable, and The Tartan hopes that similar efforts are enacted on larger scales worldwide to break down the barriers preventing discussion of this issue. Domestic violence must become less taboo if we are to make any strides in preventing it.