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Column: October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month

by Barb GuthneckLincoln County Crisis Solutions
| October 22, 2009 12:00 AM

Awareness? I have yet to meet a woman who isn’t well aware that domestic violence is happening or has happened to someone in their family, a friend, neighbor or even to themselves.

I have met a few men who do not know it is happening but even that person is a rarity. It’s a fact that it is happening in our county, our town, your neighborhood and possibly even in your house.

What can you do about it? You can reach out to the person (man or woman) who is being abused and offer your support and our Crisis Line number 293-3223.

A caring advocate from Lincoln County Crisis Solutions is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, year round, to take their call, offer resources such as a safe place to go, emergency transportation, food, clothing, toiletry items, diapers, let them know of other resources are available to them or just to listen and help them decide what to do.

Other things you can do are to not turn your back when you hear someone being bullied or someone telling a sexist joke. Let them know this is not acceptable. Bullying and sexism are precursors for the person to commit domestic violence in their future.

It’s called “power and control.” It is what the person is doing who is committing domestic violence, bullying another or putting down an entire population just because they are female. It is also what the person committing domestic violence does to their victim, taking away the victim’s power and using control over them.

Make a difference in this world by raising your children to be respectful of others and let them know it is not OK to use their spouse as a punching bag or someone to belittle and berate. If you are in an abusive situation, especially if you have children, get out! If they witness the violence (and don’t think you are hiding it from them because you aren’t), they are more likely to grow up to be abusers themselves and to accept abuse as part of their lives.

Another way to help is to donate your used furniture, household items or clothing to the Crisis Line. We give these items to victims who are moving to a place of their own and when we have excess we sell the items to raise money to help pay for the crisis line.

Contact Linda Parker at 293-0821 if you have items to donate.

(Barb Guthneck is the executive director for Lincoln County Crisis Solutions)