This issue of HER is devoted to domestic abuse. October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and there are lots of positive things happening in our community to try to address this very serious issue, which is reaching epidemic levels in Arkansas and around the United States. Later in October, National Park College is hosting a conference centered on domestic abuse as well as the Clothesline Project, which will display t-shirts that commemorate victims who have lost their lives to domestic violence in our state. The Garland County Domestic Violence Task Force meets monthly to strategize on ways to help more people trapped in this these terrible situations. Most recently, Ouachita Children’s Center learned it received a pretty substantial grant to open the city’s first dedicated domestic abuse shelter for women and children. This is all encouraging. But more still needs to be done. Domestic abuse is an issue that hits very close to home for me. I am a survivor of it. Emotional, psychological, financial, and, eventually, abuse that turned physical nearly destroyed my life. In fact, the reality is that if I did not finally leave, with the help of my very supportive and wonderful parents, I might have lost my life.
Domestic abuse is serious. It impacts people from all walks of life, all socioeconomic strata, all education levels.
While abuse effects men and children, HER is focusing on women trapped in these situations. The sad truth is that women are the individuals most often impacted. When I started telling my story to friends, even strangers, I was shocked at how many women then confided in me that either they, themselves, had been a victim or knew someone who was. Talking about abuse is so vitally important. This issue is filled with both inspiring stories and stories that are meant to raise awareness. We have tried to include useful information for anyone who needs help.
Enjoy the beautiful autumn weather. We love to hear from you, so please let us know if you have any ideas or feedback.
See you next month!