C.A.R.E. of Atchison County, Inc., as part of a national movement to prevent and end domestic violence in Atchison County, recognizes October as Domestic Violence Awareness Month. C.A.R.E will be hosting their 10th annual candlelight vigil Wednesday, October 4, 2017, on the front steps of the east side of the Atchison County Courthouse in Rock Port Missouri. Everyone is invited to attend the vigil, which will begin at 6 p.m.
“Domestic violence happens in all communities – including ours. The good news is that Missouri women, children and men victimized by domestic violence have more access to help and protection than they have ever had before,” said Teresa Morehouse, Victim Advocate. “By working together, we can offer hope and safety to those in need, to ensure that every abused person in Missouri receives the life-saving services and resources provided by dedicated advocates in domestic violence programs throughout our state, in every community.”
According to the Missouri Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence (MCADSV), more than 38,000 survivors of domestic violence were helped last year by programs through times of crisis, emergency and danger. MCADSV reports that during a single day in 2016, more than 2,100 domestic violence victims and their children sought help and safety from domestic violence programs because of the violence in their homes.
Teresa Morehouse, Victim Advocate at C.A.R.E of Atchison County, Inc., stated that in 2016 the C.A.R.E. advocates and volunteers provided 150 non-duplicated crisis intervention services; 1,963 support services which include case managements, emergency legal and/or medical advocacy, answering the crisis hotline, facilitating support groups, information and referral services, and provided 352 hours of counseling services by licensed professional counselors to victims who found themselves dealing with domestic violence, sexual assault or other violent crime while in or going through Atchison County, Missouri.
Outreach initiatives must continue because many adults, youth and children are still in need of shelter and services. Domestic Violence Awareness Month is an opportunity to advance prevention and awareness efforts in Missouri.
October is a time for all Americans to recognize and join in the life-changing work that supports and empowers survivors of domestic abuse. Together we can mitigate the costs of these crimes on our society by supporting local services, promoting laws, policies and programs that improve services, hold offenders accountable, and increase prevention education to prevent violence from occurring in our homes and communities.
During the past three decades, Missouri has made significant advancements in securing rights, protections and services for victims of domestic violence. Lawmakers and domestic violence advocates have worked together to strengthen legal protections for victims, enhance penalties for offenders, establish Orders of Protection with criminal penalties for violations, obtain funding for domestic violence services and shelters, ensure confidentiality for the safety and dignity of victims, and strengthen child welfare laws to protect abused parents and their children.
This month in particular, we have a special opportunity to make sure that every member of our community – survivors and their families, advocates, law enforcement officers, the courts, and all Missourians – have the tools, resources, information and support to prevent and end domestic violence.
To join in this month’s activities and help make a difference for survivors, contact C.A.R.E. of Atchison County, Inc., Teresa or Nikki, Victim Advocates, at 660-744-9966.