Domestic Violence Advocacy

What we Believe about Domestic Violence

We believe that domestic violence is rooted in a culture which legitimizes the use of violence by the "more powerful" to establish and maintain power and control over those with less power.

Since women and children generally have less power and have historically been seen as the "property of men," society continues to sanction violence against women and children in many ways.

Domestic violence is also a learned behavior which works for an abuser if there are no consequences or punishment.  Without intervention, the battering behavior is likely to repeat from generation to generation as children learn that violence is an effective means to get what they want.

The violence is reinforced by community members and organizations if they fail to respond to domestic violence as a serious crime and instead as a legitimate use of power.  We are dedicated to ending domestic violence and eliminating discrimination.

Therefore, Safe Avenues responds to domestic violence by providing appropriate, culturally specific resources for safety and protection to survivors of domestic violence and their children.

Safe Avenues assists survivors in making decisions about their lives.  Staff also work to change the community attitudes and systems which perpetuate violence against women and other groups

There are several kinds of abuse and each kind can take many different forms.  Our society is so tolerant of abusive behavior that we often do not even recognize some behavior as abusive.  Abuse can be divided into four categories.

Abusive partners use violence to establish or maintain POWER AND CONTROL.  When they want something, they use violence to get their way.  Abuse works because it maintains control over the victim. 

This diagram was developed by the Duluth Abuse Intervention Project.  It describes behaviors that are used together as a system by perpetrators. The Power and Control Wheel is drawn with violence as the rim and other behaviors as spokes.  Just like a wheel, they depend upon and reinforce each other. 

Safety planning is critical, whether you (or a friend) are in an abusive relationship or are in the process of leaving one. The risk of violence increases directly after leaving the abusive partners. A safety plan can help save your life and your children's lives.