It happens here too

No one wants to believe that domestic violence happens in Nebraska, but it is happening in our communities every day. Staff and board members of Healing Hearts & Families joined Broken Bow Mayor R.C. McMeen Monday as he signed a proclamation declaring October Domestic Violence Awareness Month in the city. Healing Hearts & Families is working with national agencies to help promote awareness throughout this month. According to the Nebraska Domestic Violence Sexual Assault Coalition, recent statistics are staggering. In 2007, there were close to 9,000 victims of physical domestic violence in Nebraska. Nationally, it is estimated that one in four women will experience domestic violence in her lifetime. Across the nation October has been designated as Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Locally, the team of Healing Hearts & Families is also working hard to promote awareness and offer a support network for the victims of domestic violence. This local group is working closely with the National Network to End Domestic Violence (NNEDV) on a number of projects throughout the month, both to raise awareness and to raise funds to help domestic violence victims. As one of those special projects, NNEDV is working with Verizon to urge the public to text HOPE to 41010 to make a one-time $10 donation to NNEDV. The plan is to split the proceeds with coalitions. HopeLine by Verizon will match donations up to $50,000. NNEDV has also worked with Dr. Phil to create a 30-second public service announcement urging people text HOPE to 41010. He created a very similar PSA that will air on his show. The HOPE PSA began to air on Verizon FiOS starting Oct. 1. They are also working to line up other cable companies and TV stations to air the PSA as well. Last Friday, President Obama issued a proclamation that reads: “In the 16 years since the passage of the Violence Against Women Act, we have broken the silence surrounding domestic violence to reach thousands of survivors, prevent countless incidences of abuse, and save untold numbers of lives. While these are critical achievements, domestic violence remains a devastating public health crisis when one in four women will be physically or sexually assaulted by a partner at some point in her lifetime. During Domestic Violence Awareness Month, we recognize the tremendous progress made in reducing domestic violence, and we recommit to making everyone's home a safe place for them. “Domestic violence affects everyone, and everyone must be part of the solution. There are many ways for you to help. You can volunteer or donate items to a local domestic violence shelter or program. “Starting this month, we are urging everyone to take a stand against domestic violence, end the silence on domestic violence, and give hope to survivors and their children.”