MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and many organizations are asking the community to not be silent and speak up.
One in three women and one in seven men are victims of assault each year.
Fifteen million children are also victims of domestic violence because they have to witness these situations.
Tay Knight, executive director of Family Sunshine Center, says many victims of domestic violence may be afraid or embarrassed to speak out for help, feeling isolated by the abuser.
“Remember the abuser wants that total power and control over that person, and they don’t want them to be talking to others,” Knight said.
Marjorie Baker with one place family justice center says Montgomery Police respond to more than 12 thousand domestic violence cases a year and with the Covid -19 pandemic that number has increased.
“We’re ask to stay at home, to be safer. But, for victims, that’s the total opposite. Being at home is even more unsafe for them. Now, there more in the line of getting hurt or even killed,” Baker said.
Both are resources that survivors can call or go to if they’re being abused.
Both organizations say its everyone’s responsibility to speak up when this crime happens in the community.
“Don’t shy away from it, and most importantly, reach out and help a volunteer or victim. Don’t ever say ‘well, somebody else will do it.’ You take on that responsibility to help that victim,” Baker said.
“This October, we want you to think about what you can do. What is your one thing you can do to help us in this work? It may be to listen to believe the person to talk about it, to refer them for services, to share a video or post, but we all have that one thing,” Knight said.
There is a 24/7 hotline for the Family Sunshine Center which is 334-263-0218.
One Place Family Justice Center also has a Star Crisis Hotline which is 334-213-1227.