Our Program Director, Norka Torres participated in a march and rally calling for the end to intimate partner violence in New Brunswick. This is the 6th consecutive year of her involvement. Norka has been working with the New Brunswick police department and represents the AECDC with the Coalition against Domestic Violence. The coalition has been instrumental in establishing the need for transitional housing for people who have been abused. She is frequently sought out by clients who need concrete services such as shelter for herself and children and referral to other programs in our area.
Domestic violence refers to more than physical abuse, although this does occur. Physical violence can occur as other forms of abuse escalate. Various forms of abuse that can lead to physical abuse are as follows: verbal abuse, emotional or mental abuse where the abuser causes the person to feel badly about her/ himself, sexual abuse where the abused person is forced to do things they do not want to do, threats to harm self or others to get his way, or economic abuse where the abuser withholds money or uses it to control the other person. In homes where children have witnessed violence, there is an increased probability that 60-to70% of the boys will become abusers and at least 50 to 60% the girls will become victims. There are many cases where the violence escalates to physical abuses that result in hospitalization for physical injury, or even death. Intimate violence in relationships is about power and control in the relationship. Help is available through mental health and family service agencies. Norka refers to these often.