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Domestic Violence Awareness touted

T-L Photo/CARRI GRAHAM The Monroe County Board of Commissioners proclaimed October as Domestic Violence Awareness month at Monday’s morning meeting. Pictured, from left, are Commissioner Mick Schumacher; Chelsea Scott, administrative compliance coordinator for Tri-County Help Center; Commissioner Tim Price and Commissioner Carl Davis.

WOODSFIELD — In an effort to raise awareness of domestic violence within the county, October has been proclaimed Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

Chelsea Scott, administrative compliance coordinator for Tri-County Help Center, met with the Monroe County Board of Commissioners to have the proclamation declared at Monday’s meeting. The help center offers an array of victim assistance and mental health services throughout Monroe County, Belmont County and Harrison County.

Commissioner Tim Price read the proclamation aloud.

“Every person has the right to live in a non-violent home and community,” the proclamation reads in part.

One-in-three teenagers, one in four women and one in ten men will experience domestic violence during their lifetime, with nearly 16 million children exposed to domestic violence each year, the proclamation stated.

“The Monroe County Board of Commissioners reaffirms the commitment of the county of Monroe, state of Ohio, to reducing violence in our homes, as well as on our streets. We urge all citizens to participate in the activities planned by Tri-County Help Center, during this month. Citizens should take this opportunity (to) educate themselves about the impact of domestic violence and to become familiar with resources and programs available,” Price said.

Commissioner Mick Schumacher made the motion to accept the proclamation, and was seconded by Price. Commissioner Carl Davis was absent for the vote.

The proclamation was unanimously passed and the motion was carried. Price then thanked Scott and the center for their advocacy.

Scott said that each county’s branch of the TCHC offers free legal advocacy services.

“Any victim of domestic violence, sexual assault or child abuse can come to our agency to receive free legal advocacy services; whether it be linking them with attorneys or legal representation; linking them with statewide programs that can help with legal assistance, helping them file protective orders, just giving information and referrals,” she said.

Scott said that the TCHC agency is unique in the state of Ohio as it provides victim services and mental health counseling.

“A lot of agencies that are victim service providers don’t have the resources to provide individual counseling in the same agency and refer to other agencies, so we’re unique in that aspect,” she said.

TCHC also has a human trafficking coalition, Scott said. The agency works together with Harmony House, a child advocacy center, to facilitate the human trafficking coalition.

“We’re addressing and recognizing that human trafficking does exist in our three counties and trying to respond appropriately to get everyone the help they need,” Scott said.

Due to the major interstate in the area, it makes the area more prevalent for human trafficking, she said.

In addition to the variety of services that the center provides, the advocacy group will hold upcoming events in honor of the month, Scott said. The annual steak fry fundraiser will take place at 6 p.m. Oct. 12 at Capstone Soccer Complex in St. Clairsville. The steak fry includes steak, baked potato, salad, roll, desert, and drinks. The annual Domestic Violence Awareness March begins at 5:30 p.m. on Oct. 16 at the TCHC office in St. Clairsville.

In other matters, Katherine Kovaly, director of the Monroe Soil and Water Conservation District, met with commissioners in order to proceed with the Cover Crop Program. Cover crops include rye, wheat, selt, corn, turnips and more, Kovaly said.

“It just depends on what the farmer wants to plant and what their goals are,” she said.

The crop program involves 10 landowners and more than 280 acres in the county. The total cost of the project is $2,280. Kovaly requested the half contribution needed from commissioners of $1,140. The funds come from a $5,000 grant the county received from RC&D Endowment Fund Grant that is to be used for community improvement.

“The main goal of cover crops is to improve soil health and improve water quality,” Kovaly said.

Wyatt Feldner, district technician for MSWCD, was also present at the meeting and is credited for starting the program that began this year.

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