DRiiBE for victims of domestic violence
Domestic violence is a timeless phenomenon that plagues all the world's societies.
Domestic violence can happen to anyone, regardless of age, social background, gender, religion, sexuality or ethnicity. Whilst domestic violence happens in all relationships (heterosexual, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender), statistics show the vast majority of domestic violence incidents are carried out by men and experienced by women.
The abuse can be physical, emotional, psychological, financial or sexual. It can begin at any stage of the relationship. Domestic violence is rarely a one-off. Incidents generally become more frequent and severe over time.
In the year 2020 we have seen how lockdowns and other restrictive measures of COVID-19 have contributed to the exponential growth of this phenomenon. You can read some statistics for various countries in our article "Domestic Violence in Numbers".
Domestic abuse has significant consequences both on the health of the victim and on public health.
Between 25%-50% of homeless families have lost their homes as a result of intimate partner violence.
Such victimization is also associated with nearly $6 billion in health care costs and lost work productivity per year.
Domestic violence sufferers are at higher risk of facing discrimination in securing any form of insurance, including health, life, disability, and property insurances.
Although psychological abuse can be harder to define than overt physical abuse, it has been found to cause at least as much damage.
Victims of intimate partner violence are vulnerable to developing depression, anxiety, and substance abuse disorders.
Shelters, along with websites providing useful information and hotlines, are indispensable tools for victims to escape from violence and regain control of their lives, and in some cases even save it.
In shelters, victims of domestic abuse find not only a safe home and psychological help, but also support on education, employment, immigration and accessing health and legal services.
Because victims who leave their abusive partners are at a greater risk of being killed by their abuser than those who stay, it is extremely important for a victim to have a personalized safety plan before a crisis occurs or before they decide to leave. Shelters help create a tailor-made safety plan which includes:
• A safe place to go in an emergency, or if they decide to leave home;
• A prepared excuse to leave if they feel threatened;
• A code word to alert family or friends that help is needed;
• An "escape bag" with cash, important documents (birth certificates, social security cards, etc.), keys, toiletries, and a change of clothes that can be easily accessed in a crisis situation;
• A list of emergency contacts, including trusted family or friends, local shelters, and domestic abuse hotline.
Shelters for victims of domestic violence are free, and must remain so.
But many of the refugees do not receive sufficient funding and need donations to buy food, clothes, personal hygiene items, sheets, towels, diapers, etc.
DRiiBE supports these structures by allocating part of its profits to direct donations or to purchase products that the shelters need.