Disturbingly, 1 in 3 women are victims of some type of domestic violence by a significant other in the their lifetime and this violence can occur almost anywhere. It is imperative that these women feel safe enough to seek the proper treatment and break this vicious cycle, before it is too late.
Forms of domestic violence include: physical, verbal, emotional, economic, sexual and sex trafficking. Victims are often plagued with a multitude of physical and psychological issues including: chronic health conditions, mental illness, social distress, physical impairments and post- traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Additionally, survivors of domestic violence may experience feelings of imprisonment, isolation, fear and shame.
Dance/movement therapy (DMT), based on the principles of mind/body connection and that movement reflects patterns of thinking and feeling, is an especially effective modality for this population. DMT encourages survivors to express and process their trauma verbally and through movement, as the memories that are stored in their bodies are brought to cognitive awareness. This modality offers the opportunity for survivors to feel empowered and to make sense of these traumatic imprints and bodily sensations. Moreover, DMT engages the sympathetic nervous system and can help to lessen negative, self-destructive patterns. For more information, check out these informative and downloadable brochures from the American Dance Therapy Association in English and Spanish.
It is time to help encourage all victims of domestic violence to break the cycle, share their stories, and to surround themselves with the care and support they deserve. Feel free to visit National Coalition Against Domestic Violence and National Network to End Domestic Violence to learn more about domestic violence and what you can do to make a difference.