This includes female and male victims. Fortunately, there were no deaths reported in 2007 and none so far in 2008 due to domestic violence in Putnam County.
This does not mean that victims in Putnam County don't live with the threat of death daily. This threat takes the form of bruises, black eyes, cut and scrapes, disfigurement, strangulation, and brain clots along with many other types of injuries.
Who are the Victims? Anyone can be a victim, although most victims are women, both men and women can be and are victims of family violence. Domestic Violence is about one person in a relationship using a pattern of behaviors to control the other person.
It can happen to people who are married or not married, gay, lesbian, living together, separated or dating. Abuse is not an accident. Stress, drinking or drug abuse does not cause abuse.
People who abuse others have learned to abuse so they can get what they want. Children in homes where there is domestic violence are more likely to be abused and/or neglected. Studies reveal that wife abuse is the single strongest identifiable risk factor for child abuse. Children see it, hear it, sense it and learn it.
In 2007 Family Support Services' Domestic Violence Prevention Program served 243 female and male primary victims and 260 secondary victims of violence, provided 2,511 information and referral contacts and provided 1,496 case management hours after the initial crisis. So far in 2008 the Domestic Violence Prevention Program has served 283 primary victims reporting domestic violence.
Is domestic violence a community issue? Yes. Though domestic violence is a difficult problem to confront directly, there are many ways that individuals and community groups can involve themselves to help diminish the problem significantly.
Family and community members who are aware that an offender commits acts of domestic violence must not ignore what they know, but rather, must impose negative social consequences on the offender as a result of the behavior as well as sending a consistent, clear message that domestic violence is not tolerable. Family, neighbors, friends and co-workers of domestic violence victims must be alert to the potential danger and must be supportive of the victim and make appropriate referrals to local social service organizations that can help.
Putnam County Family Support Services' invites you to join the effort to combat domestic violence not only this month, but also as long as domestic violence is occurring in this community.
Family Support Services is a not-for-profit agency determined to stop family violence and prevent child abuse and neglect. Please contact us at 765-653-4820 to learn more. Your support and involvement is welcomed and appreciated.