Every year we celebrate Domestic Violence Awareness Month in October. This year was no different as we participated in more than 40 events.
From a joint City of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County Proclamation to marches on The Square in response to this year’s sixth and seventh local domestic violence related homicides, we rallied the citizens of this county to help raise the banner and extend a life line to potential victims in our neighborhoods.
Some of the events were strictly awareness efforts. Some were benefits with proceeds going toward helping provide services for the more than 1000 clients we serve every year through our Adult, Children and Batterer Services.
From RAD Charlotte rocking against domestic violence to candlelight vigils we know at least 5,623 citizens of Mecklenburg County were engaged in these efforts. Thanks to all of the advocates and countless volunteers for helping us spread the word.
With other efforts like the Wells Fargo Duke Energy Building being lit up in purple to the Diversity Council’s discussion on The Impact of Cultural Differences on Domestic Violence in Mecklenburg County to Power98’s Power Talk radio and television specials, we cannot gauge how many were actually reached.
On October 6th, WSOC-TV aired a one-hour special entitled Stand Up To Domestic Violence. With testimonies from abuse victims to perpetrators to bystanders interceding there were a lot of educational and powerful moments.
Community Support Services partnered with WSOC-TV in this effort by providing 7 staff and 10 volunteers from the Domestic Violence Speakers Bureau to answer phone calls from viewers in an effort to connect them with local services. The 110 calls that came in from viewers in 22 counties ranged widely. One gentlemen with a warrant was convinced to surrender. Another women who has endured verbal abuse for more than thirty years was referred to Adult Services for safety planning.
Our challenge now, as November moves swiftly toward December and we get lost in the Holidays, is that we do not forget about the countless number of male and female victims that are living as prisoners in their own homes. All at the hands of their abuser.
As the Domestic Violence Fatality Review Team reminded us again this month, domestic violence is a year round problem.
Join us as we work toward diminishing this problem and clearly communicating to all of our neighbors and constituents that Mecklenburg County has zero tolerance for domestic violence.
For more information on how you can help raise the banner against domestic violence, contact the Domestic Violence Speakers Bureau at 704-432-1568 or go to http://DVSB.CharMeck.org.