Confronting domestic violence

The statistics are staggering. This year in our community over 10,000 units of service were provided to victims of domestic and sexual violence. This October domestic violence experts and service providers in Parkersburg and across our state are coming together to help end abuse. October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, a time when battered women’s advocates across the nation focus attention on the epidemic of domestic violence and encourage everyone to become part of the solution.

Domestic 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.

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 battered women’s shelter, volunteering time to a program that aids victims of abuse, talking to a child about dating violence, offering support to a battered woman 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. If you have any questions or need additional information, please contact the shelter at 304-428-2333.

Emily S. Larkins

Parkersburg

EDITOR’S NOTE: Emily Larkins is executive director of The Family Crisis Intervention Center.