Be aware of domestic violence in community
October is Domestic Violence Awareness month, a time to wear purple in support of victims and survivors, to have conversations about prevention, raise the “Violence Free” flag in the courthouse and say a prayer asking for an end to ALL violence.
This isn’t a topic we usually talk about at morning coffee, unless perhaps there has been a high profile, media covered event in a community, or someone’s family has been traumatized by domestic violence. It’s not pleasant, but neither was 9/11, the Louisiana floods, or a number of other topics we chat, with friends and neighbors about.
Unfortunately it’s an awareness that all communities need to have. Why? Because it affects one in four women and one in seven men in the United States, and their children, friends, co-workers, family, medical and court services.
In fiscal year 2016, Todd County Hands of Hope has worked with over 320 victim/survivors of domestic violence, men, women and children. That is nearly a victim each day of the year
Of course like many things, we can say “That won’t happen to me, or to our family”, (and I certainly hope that’s true), but like much of life, sometimes things happen that aren’t in our plan. We’ve all heard the old saying “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”, and in domestic violence, that could mean the difference between life and death.
Pretty frightening isn’t it, but next time you get an opportunity to be educated about domestic violence, do it; the next time you have to make a choice whether to be a bystander or someone that makes a difference; make a difference!
What can I do? Sometimes you need to be a listening ear, give a supportive hug or tell someone that they don’t deserve to be mistreated, or maybe suggest that they call Hands of Hope and speak confidentially with an advocate.
A trained advocate will help that person, male or female, to look at what and where they would like to see their life be, to make choices for themselves, to provide them safety, refer them to other resources, such as housing and employment. If needed, an advocate can help them with an Order for Protection or support them in a court setting or law enforcement interview.
Hands of Hope is located in the Main Street Government Center in Long Prairie, and we serve ALL of Todd County. On Tuesday of each week, there is an advocate at the Staples Government Center from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Hands of Hope also works with victims of General Crime, Sexual Assault and Child Abuse.
To contact us, you can call us during business hours. 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m., Mon –Fri. at 320-732-2319 or after hours on our crisis line at 1-800-682-4547. Check us out on Facebook or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.