On April 27, 2017, I had the honor of attending the 6th Annual Garden of Light Gala sponsored by the Bethany House of Northern Virginia at the Crowne Plaza in Old Town Alexandria, Virginia.
Garden of Light shined a bright light on domestic abuse and how people can come support the transformation of the lives of women and children suffering from this affliction.
Attendees were treated to a three course dinner, live auction, and listened to inspiring stories of survivors.
All proceeds from this event will benefit women and children served by Bethany House’s Family Assistance Program.
Domestic abuse can happen to any woman. In fact, I borrowed some statistics from the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence just to highlight how harrowing and stark domestic abuse really is:
- 1 in 5 women and 1 in 71 men in the United States has been raped in their lifetime.1
- Almost half of female (46.7%) and male (44.9%) victims of rape in the United States were raped by an acquaintance. Of these, 45.4% of female rape victims and 29% of male rape victims were raped by an intimate partner.
- On average, nearly 20 people per minute are physically abused by an intimate partner in the United States. During one year, this equates to more than 10 million women and men.1
- 1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men have been victims of [some form of] physical violence by an intimate partner within their lifetime.1
- 1 in 4 women and 1 in 7 men have been victims of severe physical violence by an intimate partner in their lifetime.1
- 1 in 7 women and 1 in 18 men have been stalked by an intimate partner during their lifetime to the point in which they felt very fearful or believed that they or someone close to them would be harmed or killed.1
- On a typical day, there are more than 20,000 phone calls placed to domestic violence hotlines nationwide.9
- The presence of a gun in a domestic violence situation increases the risk of homicide by 500%.10
- Intimate partner violence accounts for 15% of all violent crime.2
- Women between the ages of 18-24 are most commonly abused by an intimate partner.2
- 19% of domestic violence involves a weapon.2
- Domestic victimization is correlated with a higher rate of depression and suicidal behavior.
The Bethany House of Northern Virginia is a non-profit that provides emergency shelter and supportive services to victims of domestic violence throughout Northern Virginia and the surrounding DC metro communities.
Services they offer are:
- Crisis Intervention
- Emergency Shelter
- Trauma Recovery
- Aftercare Program
- Community Outreach
If you are interested in volunteering with this great organization, please click here.
About Bethany House of Northern Virginia
BHNV has provided safe and confidential shelter and support services to families and individuals recovering from domestic violence for more 38 years. Our mission is to help women and their children who have suffered from domestic violence regain health and dignity and become reestablished in their community by providing temporary housing and support.
For more information, visit www.bhnv.org or call 703-658-9500.