The City Sentinel

OKDHS, YWCA recognize Domestic Violence Awareness Month

Darla Shelden Story by on October 12, 2016 . Click on author name to view all articles by this author. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.
The Oklahoma Department of Human Services is joining YWCA-OKC and other community partners in recognizing October as Domestic Violence Awareness month at several events that are free and open to the pubic. YWCA Facebook Page Photo by Caroline Miller.

The Oklahoma Department of Human Services is joining YWCA-OKC and other community partners in recognizing October as Domestic Violence Awareness month at several events that are free and open to the pubic. YWCA Facebook Page Photo by Caroline Miller.

By Darla Shelden
City Sentinel Reporter

October is recognized nationwide as Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Oklahoma ranks fourth in the nation in the number of women killed by men, according to the Violence Policy Center (VPC) in Washington, D.C. The three leading states regarding this issue are Alaska, Louisiana and Nevada.

The VPC study reports that 38 women were killed by men in Oklahoma in 2014. This was the fourth year in a row that Oklahoma was among the top 10 states for women killed by men.

In Oklahoma, about 21 percent of women and 10 percent of men are victims of domestic abuse. This dire situation results in unsafe living conditions and more children entering foster care.

“Domestic violence continues to impact far too many Oklahomans,” said Ed Lake, Director of the Oklahoma Department of Human Services (DHS). “Our data shows a large number of child welfare cases report domestic violence is a factor within the home.

“That kind of emotional trauma adversely affects a child’s development and can increase the risk of a child passing on the violent behavior from one generation to the next,” Lake said. “This is a societal problem we all must work to end.”

DHS is joining YWCA-OKC and other community partners at several events to raise awareness of domestic violence issues throughout the month. The events are free and open to the public:

To kick off Domestic Violence Awareness Month the Native Alliance Against Violence Day event was held at the State Capitol on October 4.

In Norman, a balloon release at the DHS Training Center, 617 W Rock Creek Rd., will take place on October 12 at 12 p.m.

On Thursday, October 13, a Domestic Abuse Award Ceremony will be held in the Blue Room at the State Capitol from 1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.

And, on Thursday, October 27, join YWCA OKC, the Oklahoma Office of the Attorney General, OKDHS and community leaders for the Domestic Violence Awareness Walk and Wreath of Hope Ceremony, which will take place at the State Capitol south lawn from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. The event will support domestic violence victims and remember those lives lost to domestic violence.

YWCA will hold additional events to recognize the Week Without Violence from October 17 – 21. Learn more at www.ywcaweekwithoutviolence.org.

According to VPC statistics, 97 percent of women killed in Oklahoma knew the person who killed them. Most were wives, common-law wives, ex-wives or girlfriends of their murderers. Children of victims often witness the violence and abuse.

“Domestic Violence Awareness Month is designed to honor those women, children and men who overcame abuse, and to remember those who didn’t,” said YWCA-OKC CEO Jan Peery.

“It’s also the time to demand that perpetrators be held accountable for their crimes to the fullest extent of the law. Until all Oklahomans say we won’t tolerate domestic violence in our community, we will continue to be ranked fourth in the nation for the number of women killed by men during these terrible crimes.”

YWCA OKC provides the only certified shelter for battered women and children in Oklahoma County and the surrounding area.

Peery says the following items are always needed for domestic violence victims who come to the YWCA shelter: Deodorant for both women and men, underwear for girls and boys, feminine hygiene products, hair products for all hair types, hair brushes, toothbrushes, and diapers (all sizes).

“When women and children come to YWCA for help, they’ve got little more than just the clothes they are wearing and they are running for their lives,” said Peery. “What is more frightening is the large number of Oklahoma women who don’t make it to a shelter before their abuser uses deadly force.”

Victims of domestic violence can call the 24-hour Safeline at 1-800-522-SAFE (7233).

DHS and the YWCA encourage everyone to wear purple each Thursday throughout October to show support for victims and survivors of domestic violence.

To learn more about domestic violence, visit Oklahoma City YWCA  or the Purple Ribbon website.

YWCA will hold additional events to recognize the Week Without Violence from October 17 – 21. Learn more at www.ywcaweekwithoutviolence.org.

On Thursday, October 27, join YWCA OKC, the Oklahoma Office of the Attorney General, OKDHS and community leaders for the Domestic Violence Awareness Walk and Wreath of Hope Ceremony at the State Capitol south lawn from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Photo provided.

On Thursday, October 27, join YWCA OKC, the Oklahoma Office of the Attorney General, OKDHS and community leaders for the Domestic Violence Awareness Walk and Wreath of Hope Ceremony at the State Capitol south lawn from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Photo provided.

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