October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. The local Domestic Violence Coalition theme for this year is Choose to Cherish.
The local domestic violence program is striving to support individuals who have experienced family violence and educate the community on the dynamics of intimate partner abuse.
Domestic violence impacts every neighborhood, school, and church the community. In 2012, there were 29 domestic violence related deaths in Utah; three of the 29 deaths were from the Carbon County area. Already, in 2013, Price has experienced two domestic violence deaths.
Domestic violence presents itself in different forms such as verbal, psychological, intimidation, the use of physical threats, bodily harm and stalking. Just as abuse may take many forms, eliminating the family violence requires different interventions.
Some interventions may require immediate separation between the victim and the offender in order to prevent physical harm. If this is necessary, there is a domestic violence shelter for individuals to go to if he/she is not able to obtain other accommodations.
Counseling and support group are also available for both the victims and the offender as additional interventions. In some instances, legal action may be required to protect the victim. In any event, the first step is to contact the professionals who are trained to help you assess the problem and the solution. Some options include victim advocates at our local police agencies and the domestic violence shelter.
The Colleen Quigley Women's Center is available for the protection of a domestic violence victim and their children. The goal of the shelter is to provide a safe place to stay, comfortable living accommodations, emotional support, education on the cycle of violence, court advocacy, and community referrals.
In addition, there is 24-hour support available on the Domestic Violence Hotline (435-637-6589). Accommodations are available for men who have been victimized.
When domestic violence continually occurs it causes serious emotional and/or physical damage to the entire family and there is a potential that the violence will escalate to a point where a parent may need to leave for the children's safety. Children who are living in a violent home are far more likely to become abusive adults and/or to become victimized themselves, it is crucial that all forms of family violence be stopped.
Family violence in the presence of a child is considered abuse and living in such an environment is extremely damaging to children.
If a protective order has been obtained, keep a copy with you at all times. Make copies of the protective or restraining order for employer, school, etc., and keep one in your car.
Once a person leaves an abusive situation, the separation actually increases the risk of serious injury for the domestic violence survivor. It is not uncommon for persons who have been abused to return to their abuser several times before they leave permanently.
If you or a loved one is experiencing an abusive relationship, please call the Colleen Quigley Women's Center, 436-637-6589, and/or the Utah Domestic Violence Coalition, 1-800-897-LINK (5465), for support and assistance in breaking the cycle of domestic violence.