Domestic Violence Awareness Month

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month.  Domestic violence is defined as the willful intimidation, physical assault, battery, sexual assault, and/or other abusive behavior as part of a systematic pattern of power and control perpetrated by one intimate partner against another.  Did you know that on average, nearly 20 people per minute are victims of physical violence by their partner in the US?  During one  year, this equates to more than 10 million women and men.  It is truly a silent epidemic in our country,  continuing to traumatize generation after generation.  As a brand new counselor, I was honored to work at a community agency serving women and children who had been (or still were) victims of domestic violence.  As counselors we are taught to maintain our composure, not react to information shared, certainly never cry.  As I sat in the sacred space I was invited into by an adult client and listened to the horrors she had endured at the hands of another human being who had professed to love and care for her, I was unable to not be emotionally moved by her journey and her strength.  We cried together and, for a moment, she experienced her own sense of power and control for the first time in decades.  Her experience was validated by my reaction.  My “hiccup” became her motivation to leave the abuser permanently.  I hope and pray that I will never again underestimate the power of true, authentic human connection.  Emotional pain is a scary place to be, certainly…but soul to soul communication is where true healing begins.