Domestic violence remains a serious public health issue in this country.
In a 2014 telephone survey of 12,000 people by the Centers for Disease Control, 31% of women and 4% of men reporting having been victims of violence by an intimate partner in their lifetime.
The Women’s Center for Advancement, a United Way of the Midland’s nonprofit, provides services to women who are victims of domestic violence. Amy Richardson, CEO of the WCA, says a woman will frequently attempt to leave the abuser as many as 7 times before doing so successfully. She says the WCA focuses on teaching women who choose to stay how to keep themselves and their children as safe as possible. However, she says they also help the women to be as prepared as possible should they decide to leave.
“So, what are the emergency plans? Do you have birth certificates and paper documents that you need at hand? Do you have somebody like the WCA that is going to walk with you and stay with you? We may link them up with medical care, make sure they have some cell phones that are ready to call 911. And then telling someone that cares about them what is going on in that household”
Richardson, says there’s plenty the community can do to help.
“When you see something report it. When you hear something in the apartment or the house next door, report it. And then, volunteer. Maybe those volunteers are helping back up on a hotline; they help bring grab-n-go like toiletries or used cell phones. Just be involved.”
For more information, the website is wcaomaha.org