Supporters of My Sisters’ Place, a refuge for those who have been abused, stood in the rain and fog at Highways 101 and 20 in Newport Friday afternoon, to keep their cause of preventing domestic violence, sexual assault and other abusive behaviors “top of mind” for motorists going by.
Supporters held small candle-like lights to symbolize the hope of October, officially Domestic Violence Awareness month, that more of our fellow citizens will take up the cause to battle not only domestic violence, but sexual assault and other assaultive behaviors aimed primarily at women, although a small minority of men suffer abuse as well. Statistics also show that date rape accounts for 70% of sexual assaults among college age women and adolescents. Young women between the ages of 14 and 17 suffer a rate of 33% for date rape.
Here in Oregon, the state department of health reports that nearly a third of all women between the ages of 20 and 55 will suffer threats of violence, actual physical and sexual abuse and stalking. In 2010, 35 Oregon women lost their lives to their abusers.
Among domestically violence households, 30% of the children witness physical assaults and 20% see sexual assaults. These children, say officials, later suffer physical, emotional and behavior problems. A recent survey of 17,000 Kaiser Permanente patients revealed that those who suffered in domestically violent homes were twice as likely to smoke, 10 times more likely to inject or otherwise use illegal drugs, 12 times more likely to attempt suicide, and much more likely to suffer depression disorders.
Those who have suffered domestic violence or sexual assault are encouraged to seek information or even refuge at My Sisters’ Place located in Newport. Their number is 541-574-9424.