Every year in the United States, around 11 million crimes are reported to law enforcement. This number has continued to decrease since the 1990s, but there is still a lot to be done to lower it. Law enforcement officers frequently work to prevent crimes and they need all the support possible from the community to succeed in lowering the crime rates. Therefore, October is recognized as National Crime Prevention Month, and everyone is encouraged to show their support and help keep their community safe from crime.
Crime prevention is most effective when citizens get involved and work together. For more than 25 years, government agencies, civic groups, schools, businesses and youth organizations have reached out to educate the public, showcase their accomplishments, and explore new partnerships during this special month. October has become the official month for recognizing and celebrating the practice of crime prevention, while promoting awareness of important issues such as victimization, volunteerism and creating safer and more caring communities.
Domestic violence is a crime that can take on many faces. It is and epidemic affecting individuals in every community, regardless of age, economic status, race, religion, nationality or educational background. Domestic violence results in physical injury, psychological trauma and sometimes death. Moreover, the consequences of domestic violence can cross generations and truly last a lifetime.
Each year, an estimated 1.3 million women are victims of physical assault by an intimate partner. Excluded here are all the other cases of domestic violence, involving emotional, economic, and sexual abuse. Emotional and economic abuse may not be viewed as severe crimes in the same sense as physical and sexual assault are. It is often very hard for an outsider to recognize signs of emotional and economic abuse, compared to more obvious warning signs such as bruises and wounds from physical injuries. Therefore, many cases of domestic violence go unnoticed, and domestic violence has become one of the most chronically underreported crimes.
Domestic violence will not just go away by itself. It is crucial that everyone works together to end abuse and support those who have already fallen victims to the violence. During National Crime Prevention Month, individuals may choose to help on at least one of three levels: family, neighborhood or community. Whichever level you choose to work on, it is all for the same cause: to stop the prevalence of violence and crime in this world.
Hubbard House supports National Crime Prevention Month and encourages the community to speak out against all crimes, including domestic violence, and help fulfill our mission of Every Relationship Violence-Free.
If you or someone you know is in an abusive relationship please call the Hubbard House domestic violence hotline at (904) 354-3114 or (800) 500-1119.
ABOUT HUBBARD HOUSE
Founded in 1976, Hubbard House is a certified, comprehensive domestic violence center providing programs and services to more than 5,000 women, children and men annually in Duval and Baker counties. While Hubbard House is most known for its emergency shelter, the agency also provides extensive adult and youth outreach services, school-based education, therapeutic child care, batterers’ intervention programs, court advocacy and volunteer and community education opportunities. Visit www.hubbardhouse.org to learn more.
By Vicky Krook