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Domestic violence should be a concern for us all

To the editor:

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. A time when advocates across the nation focus public attention on the epidemic of domestic violence. A time when every person should consider what she or he can do to become a part of the solution to help end domestic violence in our community.

The U.S. Department of Justice estimates that 1.3 million women and 835,000 men are victims of physical violence by a partner every year. And according to the CDC, 1 in 4 women and 1 in 7 men will experience physical violence by their intimate partner at some point during their lifetimes.

DOMESTIC VIOLENCE IS…

–Physical Assault: Includes shoving, pushing, restraining, hitting or kicking.

–Sexual Assault: Any time one partner forces sexual acts that are unwanted or declined by the other partner.

–Psychological Assault: Includes isolation from family and friends, forced financial dependence, verbal and emotional abuse, threats, intimidation and control over the partner’s activities.

–Attacks Against Property and Pets: Destruction of property, household objects or treasured objects belonging to the victim, or abusing or killing beloved pets.

This month is a time to say thank you to advocates who work with victims and their children; honor victims who have taken the steps to begin to live a life free from fear; and remember those victims who have lost their lives at the hands of their abusers.

But this is not enough. Domestic violence is everyone’s business. It affects all of us –every family, every workplace, every community. Don’t be afraid to pick up the phone and call the police if you hear or witness an assault in progress. Don’t turn a deaf ear to the sounds of violence on your street, it could be a matter of life of death!

If you are a victim of domestic violence help is available. Pick up the phone and call the Christina House at our 24 hour crisis line –330-420-0036 or call the the Christina Center –330-420-0845 to speak to our legal advocate for help with a protection order.

We are calling on our communities to help break the silence and make the commitment to help end domestic violence. No one can do everything, but everyone can do something to create environments that do not tolerate domestic violence.

Beth Schmitt,

Program Manager, Christina House,

Lisbon

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