October is Domestic Violence Awareness MonthBy PAT BROWN,
S impson County is so fortunate that we have a shelter here, Angel Wings Outreach Center, for those who are victims of domestic violence.
The problem for victims is that there are only about 10 shelters across the state, and funding for those shelters is becoming increasingly difficult to obtain. Our elected state delegation is working hard to help improve the funding process on the state level.
Simpson County’s Angel Wings has been more fortunate than other shelters, and we have managed through hard work and diligence to keep our doors open and offer programs that continue to help residents as well as their families.
Statistics about domestic abuse are very disturbing, and abuse knows no boundaries. It is alive and well at all levels of the community and comes in many different forms. These include physical, emotional and sexual violence. Abuse also includes dating violence and sex trafficking.
Statistics show that one in four women will become a victim of domestic violence. Statically speaking that means that either a man’s wife, sister, mother or daughter will be the victim of domestic violence. Seven million children come from homes where domestic violence occurs. Records indicate that 500 women are raped or sexually assaulted daily in the United States alone.
One of the biggest problems has to do with the reporting of domestic violence. Victims are unwilling to step forward when it happens to them. They either feel that are responsible or they are embarrassed to report the abuse. Families and friends take the position that “It is not my business,” so often while an abusive situation exists and people know about it, no one is willing to stand up and speak about it.
Teen relationships in many cases become abusive and include situations that involve hitting, slapping, or being pushed by their partner.
The violence can lead to eating disorders and other health issues. Other problems that a teenager may face are rape, bullying and peer pressure. The sad fact is that many times parents think they are capable of identifying problems when they are not.
Here are some indicators to be concerned with. A relationship that is too intense starting out indicates that there may be problems down the road. If either of the teens is overly jealous of the other, this could lead to an unsafe relationship. Manipulation is also a factor that may not be so easy to spot or identify. Isolation, belittling and guilting are signs that relationships are unhealthy.
So what do you do? If someone is in immediate danger of violence, you call 911. If the relationship does not pose immediate harm you report it to the authorities.
Angel Wings is an option when victims must leave home. They provide housing for victims as well as their families.
They can be reached at 601-847-5802 or can be found on Facebook.