The numbers are astounding. A recent assessment of human services (page 40) in our county found:
- Domestic violence affects one in four homes in Fairfax County and is a leading cause of homicide in our community.
- Our domestic violence hotlines receive over 200 calls each month.
- Every month, more than 160 family abuse arrests are made.
- In a recent two-year period, there was a 47 percent increase in the number of residents served by the Domestic Violence Action Center, a partnership of the county and nonprofit organizations.
There are many steps – small and big – that each of us can take to create awareness of domestic violence in our community.
Several events are scheduled in October, which is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. You can run a 5K, attend a fundraiser or wear purple. A highlight of the month is the annual meeting of the domestic violence awareness community on Friday, Oct. 28, 8 a.m. to noon at the Government Center. It is open to the public and everyone interested in this topic is encouraged to attend.
Put your social media skills and contacts to work! You can lend your voice to promoting Domestic Violence Awareness Month (DVAM). Use Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, etc. Be sure to tag: #FairfaxCounty #DVAM2016.
Wear Purple on Thursday, Oct. 20. The color purple symbolizes courage, persistence and commitment to ending domestic violence. Take a selfie or a group shot and share on social media with #PurpleOutFairfax. We would also like to share your purple pics; we encourage you to email us your favorite photos.
Lisa, four months pregnant, entered the emergency domestic violence shelter Artemis House with her young son. She was fleeing her husband, who was increasingly drinking, gambling and becoming more aggressive. He was financially abusive and had restricted Lisa’s access to the family bank account. In a fit of paranoia, he physically attacked her. While at Artemis House, she received the resources needed to move out of state, where she had her family’s support throughout her pregnancy.
There are many resources available to learn about domestic violence, get help or help others. Take a few minutes to review this important information.