OCTOBER IS Domestic Violence Awareness Month. It is a nationwide problem that is felt all too often here in the Ohio Valley.
It is a problem that is far-reaching, impacting not just the victim.
Domestic violence is defined as a pattern of behavior in any relationship that is used to gain or maintain power and control over a partner. It is the leading cause of injury to women - more than car accidents, muggings and rapes combined.
Such numbers reinforce the severity of domestic violence and reaffirms the need to bring more awareness to the problem.
The Tri-County Help Center is doing its part to shed the spotlight on the issue. Help Center Executive Director Cathy Campbell broached the matter at a recent Belmont County commissioners' meeting.
She noted an increase in cases and requests from families for shelter and services. Unfortunately, that is the nature of the beast in today's society.
Campbell, however, credited the community support for allowing the agency to reach more people and provide more services. She added that enhanced awareness results in more victims and their family members seeking services.
Several events are scheduled this month to galvanize support for domestic violence awareness. They include a walk in Harrison County and a first-responder training in Belmont County. Highlighting this month's observance will be the annual Peacekeepers Walk on Oct. 16, 6 p.m,. starting at the Help Center, at 104 1/2 North Marietta St. in St. Clairsville, to the courthouse. Commissioner Ginny Favede will serve as guest speaker.
Abuse can take many forms: be it emotional, financial or physical, which is the most common. Those in need of help can turn to one of the following: The Tri-County Help Center can be reached at (740) 695-5441; The 24/7 National Domestic Violence Hotline is (800) 799-SAFE (7233); The 24/7 Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network is (800) 656-4673.
Domestic violence poses a serious problem in this country. Making more people aware of how widespread it is, will go a long way in reducing its frequency.