The month of October is recognized nationally as Domestic Violence Awareness Month. It is a time for communities to collectively come together with their local domestic violence program and like-minded organizations, such as the Florida Federation of Business and Professional Women's Club, Inc., that are committed to the reduction and elimination of domestic violence.
The goal is to enhance the community's awareness on the dynamics of domestic violence and the impact it has on the victims and the impact that violence has on the community.
Last year in Florida, there were over 120,000 victims who reached out to Florida law enforcement and reported incidents of domestic violence. However, please know there remain more women who continue to suffer in silence at the hands of their abusive partners. These women are afraid to seek the services of a local domestic violence center or seek legal remedies.
In the United States, 1 of every 4 women will experience some type of abuse within their intimate relationship and every nine seconds a woman is battered at the hands of an abusive partner. No woman is exempt from potentially finding herself in an abusive relationship. Domestic violence reaches within all walks of life.
Domestic violence is not a race issue, economic status issue, or lack of education issue. Domestic violence takes on various forms from verbal and psychological abuse, economic abuse, pet and property destruction, and often times graduating to physical abuse.
If you are a victim of domestic violence and need help, please call the Dawn Center Hotline at (352) 799-0657 in Hernando, Sunrise of Pasco County in Dade City at (352) 521-3120, the Salvation Army Domestic Violence Center in Port Richey at (813) 856-5797 or the Florida Coalition against Domestic Violence at 1-800-500-1119.
JoAnne M. Clay of Spring Hill is president of the Hernando County Business and Professional Women