Thursday, October 15, 2009

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month And Breast Cancer and Alzheimer Awareness

October is a month of awareness for important issues that we as individuals may face at some time in our life. Breast Cancer, Alzheimer’s, and Domestic Violence all very important and critical topics. Unemployment and home foreclosures are in the media every day.

This brings a strain on the public assistance available to address all issues. The individuals who are unemployed need the basic essentials to daily living, a room to sleep in, food, and clothing. They also need a leg up not a hand out.

Our community is blessed to have so many options and resources that can bring the leg up for these unfortunate individuals to connect with. Along with the food pantry, we have Shiloh Missions, Bridging the Gap, Salvation Army, Goodwill, and many churches that have programs and food pantries that are helping meet these essential needs. Shiloh Missions has implemented a data base that can be used to monitor who is receiving assistance and how often. They have a resource data base that can help direct those who want help to overcome the issues they are currently facing.

And… snugly tucked away in our beautiful city of homes is a secret. This secret is so hidden we only become aware of it when something terrible happens. Domestic violence thrives in our community. Community Welcome House statistics prove it. In December 2008, 474 calls were documented; 153 women and children were admitted to our program with 65 being children. Through September 2009, we have documented 372 calls, admitting 121, with 49 being children.

We are making a difference we know it. Our purpose is to end domestic violence one family at a time. Have we seen success, yes. Social change is difficult. Understanding why the victim stays is impossible for most. Victims who have lived with violence are emotionally connected to the abuser.

Children living and witnessing the abuse are taught to keep the secrets and soon believe it is normal. How do you change what they understand as normal? Think of Jamestown? Have you read “Helter Skelter”? A person learns what they live, life in prison? Is this normal? Think about it.

Fortunately for Coweta County we have a program that redefines normal in the life of a person who is a victim of domestic violence. Time is important when a victim decides to leave. Can this community make a difference? Community Welcome House believes it can. We hope you will help us end the violence by supporting our efforts during October and throughout the year.

Linda Kirkpatrick
Executive Director

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