Topeka, KS - The Kansas Coalition Against Sexual and Domestic Violence (KCSDV) welcomes October as National Domestic Violence Awareness Month. One in four women will be the victim of domestic violence at some point in her lifetime, and, on average, three women are killed every day at the hands of a current or former intimate partner.
"We have made great strides in Kansas, but we still have a long way to go," says Joyce Grover, executive director of KCSDV. "The Kansas Bureau of Investigations reports that 30% of all homicides in Kansas in 2010 were related to domestic violence which translates into an average 22 adults and nine children murdered each year as a result of abuse. We must act as a community to put a stop to this pervasive crime."
The economic downturn has had a devastating effect on local programs working to serve survivors of abuse. While a bad economy does not cause domestic violence, it can make it worse. At the same time, there are fewer options for survivors to escape. According to the 2012 Mary Kay Truth About Abuse Survey, nearly 8 out of ten domestic violence shelters nationwide reported an increase in women seeking help, while the vast majority experienced decreases in funding.
Despite tremendous challenges, domestic violence shelters served nearly 70,000 victims in one day alone, according to the latest National Network to End Domestic Violence Domestic Violence Counts. More than three out of four domestic violence survivors who sought support groups, counseling, supportive services and legal advocacy found these services to be "very helpful," the National Resource Center on Domestic Violence and the University of Connecticut School of Social Work reported.
"We know, even with these disturbing statistics, that domestic violence is preventable," says Grover. "By promoting healthy relationships that include equality and respect, and through large scale community education and action, we can reduce the likelihood that people will turn to abusive behaviors in their relationships."
Special thanks to Governor Brownback for standing with KCSDV and with survivors in Kansas in proclaiming October of 2012 as Domestic Violence Awareness Month in Kansas "to encourage all citizens to speak out against domestic violence, to provide support for survivors of these crimes, to encourage community leaders to hold perpetrators accountable, and to make domestic violence prevention efforts a priority by hosting events, by creating policies at school and work, and by working with your local domestic violence victims service providers."
Throughout October, communities across the country will mourn for those whose lives were taken by domestic violence, celebrate the tremendous progress victim advocates have made over the years, and connect with one another with a true sense of unity to end domestic violence.
KCSDV Media Contact: Audra Fullerton
KCSDV Communications Coordinator
Founded in 1982, the purpose of KCSDV is the prevention and elimination of sexual and domestic violence through a statewide network of programs providing support and safety for all victims of sexual and domestic violence and stalking, with primary focus on women and their children; direct services; public awareness and education; advocacy for victims; comprehensive prevention; and, social change efforts. Learn more at www.kcsdv.org.