National Domestic Violence Awareness Month

Early in my administration I met with several people from Women Against Abuse (WAB) to assure them I would continue to support their tireless efforts at ending the unconscionable violence inflicted on women usually by their husbands or boyfriends.

Though October is designated as National Domestic Violence Awareness Month, we should always remember that three women are murdered everyday by their husbands or boyfriends and assaulted or beaten every nine seconds here in America.

In fact, domestic violence causes more injuries to women than accidents and muggings combined, and 95-percent of those victims are women (an estimated 4 million per year) according to statistics from the Department of Justice.

Domestic violence also includes children, who often bear the emotional scars for years after the physical abuse has ended.

All sorts of societal stresses can trigger abuse, even when the victim attempts to alleviate the situation by getting a protection order from the court.

Sometimes the abuser shows up to intimidate, or even physically approach the person in court, which is why we have been working with WAB to make sure the Deputy Sheriff's who guard the courts are always aware and alert to such situations.

Domestic abuse also happens in same-sex partnerships, all age ranges, ethnicities, economic levels, and even heterosexual men are victims of abuse, which can be as verbally and emotionally harmful as outright physical abuse,

Some of the signs of domestic abuse include: obvious physical trauma such as a black eye; chronic stomach pains; anxiety; depression; unusual absence from work or school; and even substance abuse are often warning signs of a deeper problem.

With that in mind, please join me in making a personal commitment not only during Domestic Violence Awareness month, but to ALWAYS expose this type of violence through education, support and encouragement of its victims, and doing whatever you can to help those organizations like WAB, Women's Way, Women Organized Against Rape, and the many other groups and associations striving hard to make domestic abuse a rare and unusual occurrence in this country.

Meanwhile, we all deserve to be treated with respect and valued as human beings, and to live a life without constant fear and control.

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