Anna Faramelli asked about 40 people gathered inside Evans Hall at the Hibbard Campus Center at Keystone College a question Thursday night: Who is at risk of experiencing domestic violence?
“Anyone,” a few people answered. Faramelli nodded in agreement.
“Domestic violence can happen to anyone regardless of race, age, sexual orientation, religion or gender,” she said. “It affects people of all socioeconomic backgrounds and all levels of education.”
Faramelli, the crisis and advocacy director at the Women’s Resource Center in Scranton, was one of a panel of four who presented information on domestic violence awareness. On average, 20 people a minute are physically abused by an intimate partner, equating to 10 million people a year, she said. One in three women have experienced physical violence at the hands of an intimate partner, she said, and one in four men have experienced the same, according to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence.
Domestic abuse goes beyond physical violence and also encompasses abuse on sexual, emotional and psychological levels, Faramelli said. Another example is economic abuse, where a perpetrator tries to make a victim financially dependent by maintaining control over money and preventing the victim from getting a job, Faramelli said.
Domestic violence can also be directed against children, said another panelist, Wayne County First Assistant District Attorney Deborah Rothenberg. April is National Child Abuse Prevention month.
Part of her job is to handle child sexual abuse cases in Wayne County, she said.
“We do see it a lot and it’s at an astounding rate,” Rothenberg said.
One in four female children will be molested before they turn 18, Rothenberg said. One in six boys will fall victim to sex abuse by the time they turn 18, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Other panelists included Kendra Robinson of the Keystone College Counseling Center, who talked about the Me Too and Time’s Up movement, and Archbald police Officer Jamie Trently, who presented on the role law enforcement plays in domestic violence cases.