In October, we recognize National Domestic Awareness Month. This month is a call to action to bring attention to the issue of domestic violence.

According to National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, nearly 20 people per minute are physically abused by an intimate partner in the United States. Nationwide, more than 20,000 phone calls are placed to domestic violence hotlines a day.

While many associate domestic violence going against women, men too have been victims. It’s reported that 1 in 7 men have claimed severe physical violence by an intimate partner in their lifetime and 1 in 18 have been stalked to the point where they were fearful or believed that they could be harmed or killed, according to the NCADV.

In Fergus Falls, Someplace Safe can help victims and survivors cope with a wide range of needs and responses. The nonprofit offers support groups, short-term emergency-placement services and other aids to those in the area. They also have a 24-hour crisis line (1-800-974-3359) and can be reached at their website someplacesafe.info.

We can’t turn a blind eye to domestic violence.  Here are some warning signs of abusive partners, as listed by the National Domestic Violence Hotline:

• Tells you that you can never do anything right.

• Shows extreme jealousy of your friends and time spent away.

• Keeps you or discourages you from seeing friends or family members.

• Insults, demeans or shames you with put-downs.

• Prevents you from working or attending school.

• Destroys your property or threatens to hurt or kill your pets.

• Intimidates you with guns, knives or other weapons.

• Pressures you to have sex when you don’t want to or do things sexually you’re not comfortable with.

•Pressures you to use drugs or alcohol.

For anonymous, confidential help available 24/7, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 (SAFE) or 1-800-787-3224 (TTY).

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