Violence knows no boundaries
The Harrison County Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Coordinating Council staged its annual Take Back the Night event April 23 to help raise awareness about crimes against people, especially those targeting women and children.
It was the fourth year for the county to stage this event that included a guest speaker, self-defense de-monstration, music and booths with information from various sources such as Hoosier Hills PACT and The Center for Women and Children.
While the crowd was smaller than some organizers would have liked, the message is too important to worry about the numbers it reaches. If one person is helped by the additional awareness, it was worth it.
Domestic violence knows no age limit, no social or economic status, no time or place.
According to the U.S. Department of Justice, an estimated 937,000 women are victims of violent crimes committed by their intimate partners each year. Couple that with a study that indicates an estimated 3.3 million to 10 million children witness domestic violence each year.
But children are not immune from being direct victims. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, in figures for 2005, claims 899,000 children were victims of abuse or neglect.
Sgt. Bryan Byrne of the Harrison County Sheriff’s Department said at Take Back the Night that the number of violent crimes here is increasing. Because there is no rhyme or reason to who will be a victim of this crime, it’s everyone’s responsibility to help put a stop to it. This includes reporting any suspicions of abuse.
While the actual victims of these crimes lose the most, the impact is far reaching. Consider this from the [email protected] coalition: Domestic violence is estimated to annually cost employers between $3 billion and $5 billion in lost days of work and reduced productivity.
None of us can look the other way if we suspect anyone is being mistreated.
Rus Funk, guest speaker at this year’s Take Back the Night in Harrison County, said, quoting James Baldwin, ‘The most radical step you can take is your next one.’
Don’t think of it as drastic; think of it as saving a life.