October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. During this month, we encourage you to decorate your home or business with at least one purple light to remember victims who lost their lives because of domestic violence; to support those who survived domestic violence; and to symbolize hope for those still living with abuse. Find out more about the Purple Light Nights here.
On the domestic violence front, The Auburn Reporter has an important story about a victim of domestic violence who is speaking out on behalf of other victims:
As a young, financially dependent mother of three, Jody experienced domestic abuse early in her marriage.
Isolated and new to the area, Jody didn't know where to turn for help. She was afraid to approach police officers, but even more fearful of her husband.
"He would threaten me, tell me I was a bad mother and told me he was taking the kids. I believed him," Jody told the group assembled at the City Hall Plaza for a domestic violence awareness ceremony last week. "I never imagined this for my life."
Jody participated in a domestic violence awareness ceremony in Auburn last week. We applaud her bravery for telling her story and are thrilled to hear that she's been able to put her life back together. Still, many other victims of domestic violence remain terrorized by their abusers. A statistic cited by the Reporter is reason for concern:
Research shows that up to 40 percent of women suffer some kind of domestic abuse during their lives, and up to 70 percent of children who witness domestic violence also are victims of abuse or become batterers.
The Attorney General's Office has made domestic violence a high priority. Our bill to deal with the worst offenders was not passed during this year's legislative session. But we'll be back in 2010 to try again. Our bill will protect women and families by requiring that the worst abusers receive longer prison sentences. Learn more about our bill here.