By Jasmine Morales
SC Contributing Writer
With all the media attention for breast cancer awareness, it is often forgotten that October is also the advent of Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Supporters don purple ribbons, the symbol for Domestic Violence Awareness, and place them on their clothes and vehicles.
At the beginning of the fall semester, there was media coverage of the Ray Rice scandal. Rice, a running back for the Baltimore Ravens, was videotaped assaulting his then-girlfriend inside an elevator at an Atlantic City Casino.
Later, there was another controversy surrounding Adrian Peterson, a running back for the Vikings and the violence he directed at his four-year-old son.
This sparked the age-old debate of where to draw the line between discipline and violence. For many, domestic violence is an uncomfortable subject and for years it was thought to be private and left unaddressed.
Recently, with the help of the media, this issue has been pushed to the forefront of many people’s attention. According to domestic violence statistics, every 9 seconds a woman is beaten in the United States. Domestic violence is the third leading cause of homelessness in the U.S. according to the National Coalition for the Homeless.
According to data from Safe Horizon, the nation’s leading victim assistance organization, 1 in 4 women will experience domestic violence in their lifetime, and most incidents of domestic violence are never reported. What is being done in our community to help victims of domestic abuse?
The Women’s Resources Center of Monroe County has worked to help those in need in our area. Their mission is “to end all domestic and sexual violence for all women, children and men in our community.”
The center offers several options to assist those who are fleeing from domestic and or sexual abuse. All of the services they provide are free and confidential. They have a 24-hour crisis hotline, which is open 7 days a week, 365 days a year and is the initial client contact to help with a crisis intervention.
The center’s other services include crisis shelters, counseling, community education, prevention and outreach. It provides legal and medical advocacy.
The Women’s Resources Center defines the goal of the legal advocacy program as such; “to provide information, referrals, and support to both victims and survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault who choose to seek justice through the legal system.”
Just because October is coming to a close doesn’t mean that you can’t continue to help fight against domestic and sexual abuse. If you have been in an abusive situation or want to know what you can do to help, contact the Women’s Resources Center at 570-421-5200.
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