October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, causing us to recognize this pernicious social ill that affects families for generations and society at large.
Local police receive thousands of domestic violence calls each year, and those only represent the times when someone decided it was time to call the police. Hundreds of arrests are made each year.
The good news is that the calls seem to be dropping, but we hope the dwindling number of calls is declining because incidents are declining as opposed to domestic victims who are unwilling to call the authorities about their dangerous situations.
That shouldn’t be the case, since police agencies and domestic violence advocates have modernized the system of handling such cases with protocols, including follow-up procedures designed to protect the victims and get treatment for offenders.
Few things are more dangerous than unchecked aggression in the home. Just scan the headlines of any local newspaper in a given year, and you’ll see that the vast majority of murders are committed by family members, spouses, boyfriends or girlfriends.
According to the Domestic Violence Resource Center, more than three women and one man are murdered on average by partners each day. One in four women will be subjected to acts of domestic violence in her lifetime.
Those statistics also show that 74 percent of Americans report that they know someone who has been a victim of domestic violence.
While we have strong professional advocates for domestic violence advocates and engaged police departments, we must all be advocates for victims who sometimes find themselves in frightening situations they don’t believe they can control.
If you’d like more information, the Family Violence Coordinating Council, is holding a symposium on substance abuse and family violence from 7:45 a.m. to 4 p.m. Oct. 25 at McHenry County College. Call 815-455-8593 for information.