October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. All over the nation, people are coming together to recognize the compassion, commitment, and collaboration that have gone into helping victims of domestic violence and their children rebuild their lives. Governor Brownback joined the efforts this year by signing a declaration to recognize this month in Kansas.
Kansas is not immune from this violence. Last year, over 4,000 Kansans sought the safety of a domestic violence shelter. Another 21,000 Kansas received additional life-saving, life-transforming services all over the state.
This year also marks the 30th anniversary of the Kansas Coalition Against Sexual and Domestic Violence (KCSDV), a state coalition working on behalf of domestic violence and sexual assault victims. Last year, KCSDV provided over 100 training events, reaching more than 2,800 people. An additional 3,700 people called KCSDV for expert advice and information.
These programs are at the front line of ending this violence in our homes. They should be applauded and supported for this critical work.
I urge all of you to play a role this month. Give a victim the state hotline number (1-888-END ABUSE). Donate money to your local program or to KCSDV. Volunteer to help. Speak out when you see or hear violence happening. Encourage and teach youth about respectful relationships.
Ending domestic and sexual violence is a community responsibility. We must all do our part. You can find out more about your local program and how to help through the KCSDV website, kcsdv.org. I urge you to do so today.
Let's make this not just Domestic Violence Awareness Month but also Domestic Violence ACTION Month!
Robert T. Stephan
Attorney at Law
12548 W. 123rd Street
Overland Park, KS 66213
Phone (913) 685-1953
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.