The Herald Bulletin

Evening Update

Opinion

October 15, 2013

Viewpoint: October is domestic violence awareness month

During the 12-month period ending June 30, 2013, 58 people died by an act of domestic violence in Indiana. Five of those deaths were in Madison County. Domestic violence is the most dangerous call for law enforcement.

On July 26, 2012, an Anderson Police Department officer was wounded and his canine partner died in a domestic violence incident. A bystander was fatally shot by the perpetrator. And just a few weeks ago, an abuser in Indianapolis shot and killed a police officer whose brave actions saved the life of the abuser’s girlfriend and her 10-month-old child.

This past year was challenging for domestic violence service providers, including Alternatives. We have had women and children sleeping on cots in our shelter. We received reductions in grant funding as a result of the federal sequester and local and state funding priorities. The situation is the same throughout Indiana. Unfortunately the need is outweighing the

available resources. Indiana shelters took in 11,719 victims, but struggled to find other options for another 3,837 people when the shelters were full.

We are fortunate to have the support of great law enforcement departments in Madison County. They are responsive to domestic violence while knowing the dangers they face on each and every call. In 2012, they responded to 795 domestic violence calls and made 581 arrests. Our judges and prosecutors are convicting perpetrators. The Herald Bulletin made

domestic violence a monthlong feature in the newspaper last year. They raised domestic violence to a new level of awareness. Ricker’s has Safe Havens at their establishments where victims can call for help. Kleenco workers wear T-shirts calling for an end to domestic violence. So many individuals and organizations are going above and beyond! The number of deaths and the amount of victims residing in our shelter tell us we cannot reduce our efforts if we are to eradicate this crime.

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