Hope Shores observes Domestic Violence Awareness Month
Hope Shores Alliance is asking our community to share in honoring this October as the 32nd National Domestic Violence Awareness Month.
Per the CDC’s National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey’s 2010 summary report, on average, nearly 20 people per minute are physically abused by an intimate partner in the U.S. During one year, this equates to more than 10 million people.
“Sadly, domestic violence has had devastating impacts within our own community as well,” HSA Executive Director Valerie Williams said in a press release. “It has affected all people regardless of their sexual orientation, gender, socio-economic status, race or religion.”
Hope Shores Alliance worked with 329 survivors of dating or domestic abuse in 2019 alone, Williams noted.
This year, Hope Shores Alliance is bringing a focus on the businesses and churches who may be the first to hear that a survivor of domestic violence is in need of help and support.
“Often, survivors reach out to people they feel they can trust — their hair stylist, a local shop owner, or faith leaders — and we are so pleased to be partnering with businesses and faith-based organizations this year to help them to know how to be a support to survivors,” Williams said.
“In bringing awareness to this connection, we have a natural partnership with Second on Third, our agency thrift shop in Rogers City. We are so fortunate to have this longstanding partnership and access to space at the store where we can meet with survivors in the community who are seeking support,” Williams continued.
In a statement by the Marriage and Family Ministries of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops:
“The Church can help break this cycle. Many abused women seek help first from the Church because they see it as a safe place. Even if their abusers isolate them from other social contacts, they may still allow them to go to church.”
Recognizing the critical role that the church can play, HSA addresses this statement to several audiences:
¯ Those who are victims of violence and who may need the church’s help to break out of their pain and isolation;
¯ To pastors, parish personnel, and educators, who are often the first responders for abused women;
¯ To men who abuse and may not know how to break out of the cycle of violence; and
¯ To society, which has made some strides towards recognizing the extent of domestic violence.
“There is still much work to be done before we are living in a community that makes it clear abusers are neither welcome or safe, and that the survivors of domestic violence will be met with compassion and resources to live lives free from abuse,” Williams said.
This October, Hope Shores Alliance is pleased to be partnering with the Sunrise Kava Cafe in Tawas City, Alcona Country Library, Harrisville United Methodist Church, Hollihock Emporium, New Waves Salon, Salon 121, Shear Harbor Salon, Jack’s Barbershop, Atlanta Hair Care, Figurehead Salon to raise awareness and to support survivors.
Throughout October, Hope Shores Alliance will join communities across the country who honor the survivors of domestic abuse who continue to fight every day for their freedom, the victims who were lost to domestic violence, celebrate the continued progress advocates have made over the years, and unite with our community to end domestic violence.
For free confidential help 24/7, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 (SAFE). To chat live, visit thehotline.org. If you are in immediate danger, call 911.