Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. held a panel about the effects of domestic violence on Wednesday, Oct. 28 from 8 to 9 p.m. Panelists Victoria Goodlof, Esq. and Dianna Fuller, Esq. both attorneys, treated the audience to an interactive discussion tackling this issue. The event was held via Zoom.
The purpose of the discussion was to analyze and compare the science of healthy and unhealthy relationships. Domestic violence is a serious issue in society, prevalent among all ages, genders, orientations and religions.
"If there is anything anyone can get from this presentation, it is more tools to identify unhealthy behaviors," said Goodlof, Esq. "Generally, all relationships have hard times but domestic violence is a step above that."
Later in the presentation, resources for domestic violence were shared. Fuller, Esq. went into depth about the Sexual Assault Survivor Protection Act.
"When this act came out, it was geared towards college students and provides for a temporary protective order for victims of sexual assault," said Fuller.
Domestic violence is defined as willful abusive behavior that is part of a systematic pattern of control and power, perpetrated by one individual over another in an intimate relationship.
Domestic violence is a complex issue, as many factors play into the manifestation of it.
Per data from the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, nearly 20 people per minute are physically abused by their partner in the United States, which equates to ten million women and men over the course of a year.
In New Jersey, 26.2% of women and 29.3% of men experience intimate partner physical violence, rape or stalking throughout their lifetime.
Typically, over 20,000 phone calls are placed to domestic violence hotlines daily across the country. Intimate partner violence accounts for 15% of the country's crime.
Domestic violence is known to take severe physical, mental and sexual tolls on victims. It has also been linked to unintended pregnancies, miscarriages and stillbirths, nutritional deficiency, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder.
Victims of domestic violence are more than likely to develop addictions to drugs, alcohol and tobacco. Thankfully, there are resources for domestic violence victims.
The New Jersey Domestic Violence Hotline provides access to domestic violence information and services and runs 24 hours a day, and seven days a week. They can be called at 1-800-572-7233.
The New Jersey Coalition Against Sexual Assault also provides support for domestic violence victims by connecting them to professionals specializing in supporting victims. They can be called at 1-800-601-7200. The National Domestic Violence Hotline is nationwide and can be called 1-800-799-7233.