Delaware County Council joined members of the Domestic Abuse Project and District Attorney Kat Copeland during its Oct. 9 public meeting to announce October as National Domestic Violence Awareness Month. The month was first designated in 1981 by the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence with an intent to connect advocates for survivors of abuse across the nation who were working to end violence against women and children.
On average, 24 people per minute are victims of rape, physical violence or stalking by an intimate partner in the United States. That’s more than 12 million women and men each year. Domestic violence does not discriminate. People of all ages, races, sexual orientation, religion or gender can be a victim of domestic violence. It affects people who are married, living together or who are dating. It affects people of all socioeconomic backgrounds and education levels. Domestic violence includes behaviors that physically harm, cause fear, prevent a partner from doing what they wish or force them to behave in ways they do not want. It can include physical and sexual violence, threats and intimidation, emotional abuse and economic deprivation. There are many different forms of domestic violence.
Delaware County works to prevent domestic violence and assist abuse victims and witnesses through various county Departments including the District Attorney’s Office, Human Services, and the courts. The County also partners with various organizations to assist survivors and raise awareness.
One organization which Delaware County is proud to work with is the Domestic Abuse Project (DAP.) Their services include victim advocacy, child advocacy, a shelter, crisis counseling, legal counseling and representation during the Protection from Abuse (PFA) restraining order process. DAP operates and manages the County’s 24-hour crisis hotline, ensuring support for victims of domestic violence in Delaware County at all times. Last year DAP served nearly 2,500 victims of domestic abuse with direct services and answered over 5,000 hotline calls.
During the meeting, Council commended and thanked the staff at DAP for the work they do to assist Delaware County residents in need. Information on services and resources offered by DAP and information on how residents can volunteer and donate can be found here: www.dapdc.org
The County’s website has a page dedicated to Domestic Violence Awareness which includes information and resources on warning signs, how to obtain a Protection from Abuse restraining order and links to the local and national domestic abuse hotline. That page can be found by here: www.delcopa.gov/ich/domesticabuse/domesticviolence.html