See something… say something! Stop the pain!
Emerald G. Parsons
ECB Publishing, Inc.
Abuse is a sensitive topic.
For many individuals, being knowledgeable of or a witness to child or domestic abuse can spark not only a desire to help, but also the fear of getting involved with something that “isn't my business.” While to others, domestic abuse is a way of life and something that is very hard to escape from.
That is why each year the Jefferson County Refuge House Outreach Counselor, Nan Baughman, invites community members to an informative brunch at the 1872 John Denham House B&B; and this year was no exception. On Tuesday, Oct. 22, approximately 20 people gathered together to help bring awareness to domestic violence... and to discuss how to put a stop to it.
Many guests shared their own personal stories of domestic abuse and how they escaped the situation(s). Attending agencies also discussed plans to increase communication between all other agencies and to help the community provide services like mental health counseling, drug and alcohol transportation and other help services for victims.
The group left the brunch in high spirits, with the plans of forming a committee that will help make all these new visions possible.
This annual brunch is planned and celebrated each year during the month of October, in recognition and honor of Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Domestic Violence Awareness Month was launched nationwide in October 1987 as a way to connect and unite individuals and organizations working on domestic violence issues and to raise awareness for those issues.
Over the last three decades, much progress has been made to support domestic violence victims and survivors, to hold abusers accountable and to create and update legislation to further those goals.
Domestic violence is an epidemic affecting individuals in every community regardless of age, economic status, sexual orientation, gender, race, religion or nationality. It can result in physical injury, psychological trauma, and in severe cases, even death.
Domestic violence isn’t concentrated to any specific age, race or gender. It can happen to anyone. One in four women and one in seven men will be victims of violence by an intimate partner during their lifetime, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Almost 20 people per minute are physically abused by a partner in the United States, according to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence. Over the course of a year, this equates to more than 10 million men and women.
If you suspect someone is being abused, there are signs to look for:
• Signs of injury
• Emotional distress
• Change in appearance or self-esteem
• Denial of harassment or injuries
• Lack of confidence or communication
If you see something – say something. It could mean the difference between life and death.
Locally you can contact Nan Baughman, Domestic Violence Outreach Counselor and Co-Located DV and Child Welfare Advocate for Jefferson County, Refuge House, Inc., at (850) 342-3518 or email her firstname.lastname@example.org; or you can call the 24-Hour Hotline at (850) 681-2111 or (800) 500-1119.