The statistics are staggering. This year in our community over 10,000 units of service were provided to victims of domestic violence. This October, domestic violence experts and service providers in Parkersburg and across our state are coming together to help stop the silence. October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, a time when domestic violence victims advocates across the nation focus attention on the epidemic of domestic and sexual violence and encourage everyone to become part of the solution.
Domestic and sexual violence is a problem of epidemic proportions in this country and in our community. Nationally, nearly one-third of American women (31 percent) report being physically or sexually abused by a husband or boyfriend at some point in their lives. On average, more than three women are murdered by their husbands or boyfriends in this country every day.
This month, The Family Crisis Intervention Center will conduct activities in each of the eight counties it represents to represent the victimization of victims throughout their lifespan. The event/balloon release in Wood County will be held on Tuesday Oct. 2, 2012 at noon at the Bicentennial Park across from the Parkersburg City Building. The public is invited to attend and we hope to see the park filled to show support.
But these events are not enough. Domestic violence is everyone's business. It affects all of us - every family, every workplace, every community. And each one of us has a role to play in stopping domestic violence. Action can be as simple as contributing money or clothing to a local domestic violence shelter, volunteering time to a program that aids in victims abuse, talking to a child about healthy and unhealthy relationships, offering support to a victim of domestic or sexual violence, or posting awareness materials in public places.
Individuals who want to help or who would like to participate in Domestic Violence Awareness Month activities can call 304-428-2333 for more information.
During Domestic Violence Awareness Month, I hope you will encourage other to join efforts to reduce domestic violence in our community. Domestic violence is everyone's business. If you have any questions or need additional information, please contact the Family Crisis Intervention Center at 304-428-2333.
EDITOR'S NOTE: Emily Larkins is Executive Director of the Family Crisis Intervention Center.