Leonardtown, MD – Anyone can be a victim of domestic violence regardless of age, gender, ability, ethnicity, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status or religion. According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, in the U.S., nearly 20 people per minute experience intimate partner physical violence. This equates to over 10 million abuse victims annually, 1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men have experienced some form of physical violence by an intimate partner. To put a spotlight on the problem, the Commissioners of St. Mary’s County have proclaimed the month of October National Domestic Violence Awareness Month in the county.
The studies further indicate, on a typical day, over 20,000 phone calls are placed to domestic violence hotlines across the country. The crime of domestic violence violates an individual’s privacy, dignity, security and humanity, due to systematic use of physical, emotional, sexual, Psychological and economic control and/or abuse, including abuse to spouses, children and the elderly.
“A confidential, coordinated community response via the St. Mary’s County Family Violence Coordinating Council, including MedStar St. Mary’s Hospital, Southern Maryland Family Advocacy Center, St. Mary’s County Department of Social Services, Three Oaks Center and Walden Sierra is available to victims of domestic violence, dating violence and sexual assault,” said Commissioner Mike Hewitt (2nd District).
In recognition of the vital work being done by the St. Mary’s County Family Violence Coordinating Council and the St. Mary’s County Commission for Women, the commissioners urge all citizens to work toward improving victim safety and raising public awareness about how to prevent, recognize and stop domestic violence.
Images courtesy of the St. Mary’s County Public Information Office