Hard times increase domestic violence risks

Shenandoah Women’s Center welcomes October as National Domestic Violence Awareness Month. One in four women will be the victim of domestic violence at some point in her lifetime and, on average, three women are killed every day at the hands of a current or former intimate partner.

The economic downturn has had a devastating effect on local programs working to serve survivors of abuse. While a bad economy does not cause domestic violence, it can make it worse. At the same time, there are fewer options for survivors to escape. According to the 2012 Mary Kay Truth About Abuse Survey, nearly eight out of 10 domestic violence shelters nationwide reported an increase in women seeking help, while the vast majority experienced decreases in funding.

Despite tremendous challenges, domestic violence shelters served nearly 70,000 victims in one day alone, according to the latest National Network to End Domestic Violence Domestic Violence Counts. More than three out of four domestic violence survivors who sought support groups, counseling, supportive services and legal advocacy found these services to be “very helpful,” according to the National Resource Center on Domestic Violence and the University of Connecticut School of Social Work.

The Shenandoah Women’s Center provides support services for both women and men, who are victims or survivors of domestic violence. These support services include counseling, legal advocacy, information and referral and shelter for those in danger. Bringing awareness to the community is also a major goal of Shenandoah Women’s Center. One victim is too many and with the support of our community we can work towards ending domestic violence.

Throughout October, communities across the country will mourn for those whose lives were taken by domestic violence, celebrate the tremendous progress victim advocates have made over the years, and connect with one another with a true sense of unity to end domestic violence.

 

— If you need help or know someone who does, contact Shenandoah Women’s Center 24-hour hotline at 304-263-8292.

 

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