Local organizations dedicate October to Domestic Violence Awareness
Posted: Oct 16, 2012 8:19 AM by Victoria Fregoso – Q2 News
Updated: Oct 16, 2012 8:19 AM
1.3 million. That’s how many people become victims of domestic violence every year. A fraction of that happens right here in Billings.That’s where the YWCA comes in.
“We help approximately 600 individuals on a given year,” said Erin Lambert with YWCA Billings. “Last year we sheltered 312 women and children. And we answered 1,400 crisis line calls, so we are helping a ton of people in our community.”
Some victims don’t realize what they’re going through is wrong, allowing the abuse to continue. That was the case for Jamie Schoonover. She was a victim of domestic violence and even ended up in the hospital. She is using her experience and has launched the Domestic Violence Abuse Awareness Society at MSUB.
“If I went through this, how many other people are going through what I went through or worse? How many can’t make it out? How many don’t have the support that I had when I did get out?”
Jamie also went through another form of domestic violence, the kind that doesn’t leave any physical evidence.
“The emotional and the mental and the verbal abuse, the ‘you’re stupid, nobody is going to want you,’ that kind of stuff, it really, really hurts.”
The issue of domestic violence has been around for ages and the number of cases that are seen here in Billings remains steady. Leaving the question, what is the solution to this problem?
“We have to start with the kids,” Lambert said. “Intervening in families where this is occurring when kids are still young so it’s not being perpetuated.”
“If we were to boost some of the prevention and awareness, I think we could definitely let the victims know that they don’t have to go back, they don’t have to stay in that situation, that there are ways and places that they can go to get out,” Schoonover added.