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Domestic violence is a problem everywhere

Domestic Violence Awareness Month does not have the cultural appeal that Breast Cancer Awareness does. While both are held during October, the pink ribbons for breast-cancer awareness far exceed the number of purple ribbons for domestic-violence awareness. There aren’t purple ribbons on cereal boxes or T-shirts, and NFL teams don’t wear purple accessories on Sundays to bring attention to the cause.

It’s uncomfortable to talk about. But we must talk about it.

Domestic violence affects millions, both women and men, of every race, religion, culture and status. It’s not just punches and black eyes — it’s yelling, humiliation, stalking, manipulation, coercion, threats and isolation. It is stealing a paycheck, keeping tabs online, non-stop texting, constant use of the silent treatment, or calling someone stupid so often they believe it. Domestic violence is a problem everywhere, including here in Chambers County and throughout East Alabama.

We encourage more public dialogue and more conversations among families, especially children, to make it clear that violence is not a solution to problems in relationships and is never the right way to express frustrations or anger.

There are many ways you can show your support this month. The most impactful is to donate to your local victim services program or shelter.

Domestic violence isn’t a disease, it’s a sickness. The cure for this is all of us acting together to help those victimized and to let those who perpetrate the violence know that it will no longer be tolerated.

If you are in an abusive relationship, know that there are solutions and help is available. Call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233, the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-4673, the National Teen Dating Abuse Hotline at 1-866-331-9474. Locally, call the Domestic Violence Intervention Center at (334) 749-1515.