Be proactive in identifying domestic violence

Domestic violence. Few words carry in their meaning a reality so devastating to communities, it can tear families apart.
The term “domestic violence” forces on ears and minds a negative connotation, and for good reason.
According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV), on average, nearly 20 people per minute are physically abused by an intimate partner in the United States. During just one year, this equates to more than 10 million women and men.
On a typical day, the NCADV reports there are more than 20,000 phone calls placed to domestic violence hotlines nationwide, while intimate partner violence accounts for 15 percent of all violent crime.
The NCADV also reports one in three women and one in four men have been victims of some form of physical violence by an intimate partner within their lifetime.
Habersham County, unfortunately, is not exempt from this hard truth, with public safety personnel responding to calls of domestic violence across the community almost daily.
But for those who survive acts of abuse, the NCADV reports only 34 percent of people who are injured by intimate partners receive medical care for their injuries. This means many victims of domestic violence stay silent, refusing to bring their abuser’s actions to the attention of loved ones or law enforcement.
But we want better for our community and those in it.
October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month and now, more than ever, is a good time to learn the signs of abuse so that if you see something, you can say something.
While many communities have available resources for those suffering from domestic violence, we have Circle of Hope, a private nonprofit providing services for victims of domestic violence in Habersham, Stephens and White counties. We also have Prevent Child Abuse Habersham, which makes sure children are loved and nurtured by providing parents with the education, support and resources to raise well-adjusted, productive future adults.
During the month of October, you’ll hear from community leaders every Friday regarding domestic violence and its impact on communities. The first of several columns, by COH Associate Director Stephanie Tolbert, can be found on Page 5A of the Oct. 6 Weekend edition.
We encourage those in our community to educate themselves about domestic violence, the statistics and the warning signs. It could save a life.
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Northeast Georgian

Mailing Address:
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Cornelia, GA 30531

Phone: 706-778-4215
Fax: 706-778-4114