Editorial: Fighting domestic violence

Mar. 25, 2014 @ 11:58 PM

Domestic violence is still crippling our community.

Awareness is working. We know the situation could be worse.

Back in October, more than 100 people came to the steps of the Vance County Courthouse. They brought a message that silence is not the way to end domestic violence.

We advocated then for a message than resonates 24/7/365. And there’s another collective, corporate gathering chance on Thursday morning with Church Watch.

This will be a time when information is shared, ideas are exchanged and the intentional fight against these terrible actions continues.

Church Watch isn’t alone. The efforts in Vance County to generate awareness includes several organizations. The Vance County Department of Social Services, law enforcement, Life Line Outreach, Infinite Possibilities, New Directions, Safe Space, Structured Family Interventions, the Dazzling Divas SC, schools and the Boys & Girls Club are among them, and there are more.

We lost Heart’s Haven last year, a domestic violence shelter that operated under the umbrella of Area Christians Together in Service. Other agencies have stepped forward since to fill in the gap.

But filling in the gap without a true solution perpetuates crisis mode. Thursday’s meeting is another chance to gain knowledge, to find ways to get at the root of problems rather than just reacting to them.

DSS confirms the majority of cases they see are domestic violence related.

In 2012, there were 122 homicides in North Carolina linked to domestic violence. Like cancer, domestic violence is not partisan to any gender, race or social status. It can happen to anyone.

We have to educate ourselves, understand how to see potential flags in our everyday life with others and know what to do. Doing nothing essentially makes us enablers, and none of us would want to do that.

Victims are reluctant ­— and understandably so — to report attackers. But that may not be the only fear or hindrance.

When we as a community speak up, to say we are willing to help, to say we are willing to assist victims going through the horrible ordeal, then we are providing an element of success in the fight.

We never know when it will be us, someone in our family or someone we know.