Indianapolis, Indiana – Domestic violence remains a significant issue in Indiana, with over 6,000 reported cases of intimate partner abuse in 2021, up from approximately 5,700 the previous year. In response, the Domestic Violence Network in Central Indiana has secured nearly $233,000 in funding from The Indianapolis Foundation and the City of Indianapolis.
Rebecca Berry, strategic collaboration specialist at the Domestic Violence Network, states that the funding will be utilized to create a three-year strategic plan focusing on demographics with the highest rates of domestic violence, although this issue affects people from all walks of life.
“Domestic violence does not discriminate based on one’s job, partner, or financial status,” Berry said. The Institute for Women’s Policy Research reveals that 31% of women will experience domestic violence, with that figure increasing to 40% for people of color. Berry also emphasizes that the definition of abuse now encompasses more than just physical and sexual violence, including stalking, withholding access to phones or contraceptives, harming pets, and manipulating emotions, finances, or social media presence.
Fear, shame, and a lack of safe havens can make it difficult for abuse victims to seek help. During the pandemic, Indiana shelters operated under capacity due to safety protocols, as reported by the state in 2020. The grant will enable the Domestic Violence Network to connect with individuals who might be in unhealthy relationships.
Berry noted, “Those who inflict or perpetuate violence in an intimate partner relationship often have grown up in a household with domestic violence.” Furthermore, service providers for abuse survivors report an increase in cases involving firearms, with 33 of 41 domestic violence-related deaths in 2020 involving a gun, according to the Domestic Violence Network.
It is essential to raise awareness about the long-lasting physical and emotional impacts of domestic violence. Recognizing the warning signs of abuse and seeking help are crucial steps for those in dangerous situations. The Domestic Violence Network’s three-year strategic plan aims to address domestic violence in Central Indiana by reaching out to individuals in unhealthy relationships and providing necessary resources and support for leaving and recovering from abuse.
In conclusion, this grant highlights the pressing need to address domestic violence and the availability of support and resources for those affected.