Guest Column: Time to be aware of domestic violencePublished 10:38am Wednesday, October 23, 2013
By Lana Hollerud
Victim advocate, Crime Victims Resource Center
October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. The next time you’re in a room with six people, thinking about this:
—1 in 4 women experience violence from their partners in their lifetimes.
—1 in 3 teens experience sexual or physical abuse or threats from a boyfriend or girlfriend in one year.
—1 in 4 women and 1 in 6 men were sexually abused before the age of 18.
Twenty-two percent of Americans report being victims of domestic violence. These statistics come from a new study, “NO MORE Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault, Survey of Attitudes and Experiences of Teens and Adults,” and highlight the fact that chances are very good you are acquainted with someone who is dealing with some sort of victimization in his or her life.
Sometimes it’s hard to know the right thing to say to an abuse victim, but if you remember two things, you have all the knowledge you need to provide assistance to them. The first thing is that they don’t deserve to be abused and the second thing is to let them know that there is an agency here in Austin, the Crime Victims Resource Center (CVRC), that can help them find ways to deal with their victimization.
CVRC has been providing advocacy and support to abuse and crime victims in Mower County since 1977. All of the services provided by CVRC are free of charge and confidential. Interpreter services are also available. CVRC staff are dedicated to encouraging growth and recovery in a nonjudgmental setting.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services says that domestic violence constitutes 22 percent of violent crime against females and 3 percent of violent crime against males. It is happening in our community, and CVRC is here to assist the victims.
If you want to help be part of the solution, consider becoming a volunteer advocate — CVRC is always looking for compassionate men and women to assist Mower County crime victims. No special degree or experience is required. If you would like more information on our volunteer program or any services CVRC provides, call CVRC at (507)-437-6680.