Each month on our calendar has been set aside to acknowledge issues, or to celebrate achievements in our state and in our nation. October, particularly, contains a few of the more notable “awareness month” designations. Today, I ask you to focus in on one particular effort that does not receive as much attention as it should. Please join me in recognizing October as Domestic Violence Awareness Month.


Recent events in the media have shed light upon an issue that is more obscure and spoken of rarely. Domestic violence is a true epidemic affecting millions of people across the country every year. It is also too easily overlooked. Did you know that nearly one out of every three women and one out of every four men are victims of domestic violence in their lifetime? This abuse covers more than just physical violence, but also includes sexual exploitation, emotional harm, threatening behavior, stalking, and other forms. It reaches people across all socioeconomic ranges—there are no groups in our society that are immune from domestic violence.


Nationally, groups such as the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, the Department of Justice, major corporations and other organizations are partnering to educate people on how to recognize and prevent domestic violence. Even locally, we have great organizations like the Family Violence Prevention Center (FVPC) of Greene County in Xenia dedicated to supporting families and victims of domestic violence. Find out more about the support and assistance they provide, including their 24-hour confidential hotline, shelter programs, intervention services such as education and counseling, and group work sessions for perpetrators of domestic violence, by visiting their website at www.violencefreefutures.org.


At the end of the day, we can have all the groups, coalitions, awareness months and newspaper columns in the world, but if we cannot come together as individuals and combat this plague on our society, nothing will change. I therefore challenge everyone who reads this to take a pledge of personal responsibility to stand up to domestic violence wherever you see it and to support those touched by domestic violence. To visibly show your support, consider wearing purple or adding a purple ribbon to your wardrobe this month. If you are a victim or if you know a victim, please seek help by calling the FVPC 24-hour crisis hotline at (937) 372-4552 or (937) 426-2334. Together, we can make a difference and change our community for the better, one person at a time.

 
 
 
  
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