Advocates take message to the streets

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COLUMBUS, Ga. – This week is domestic violence awareness week. Victim’s advocates are bringing awareness to the growing problem by taking their message to the streets.

According to the Solicitor’s Office, domestic violence is the leading cause of injury to women in Muscogee County. Volunteers were in Columbus handing out these goody bags with a variety of resources inside letting those who may be in trouble know there is help.

“That’s what it’s all about. Breaking the cycle together.” Said Rhonda Dial, Victim Advocate. “It’s very important because so many people live this in our society and they feel they have no way to escape.”

Rhonda Dial, a victim advocate with the Muscogee County Solicitor’s Office, is standing out in the rain on her lunch break to raise awareness about domestic violence.

She’s handing out goody bays. In it, coupons to local restaurants, chackkis, and important information if someone wants to get out of a dangerous domestic violence situation. According to the 2015 Georgia Domestic Violence Fatality Review, domestic violence deaths are at a 10 year high. In 2015, there were 139 domestic violence related deaths. The highest number of deaths ever record in the past decade. In addition, at least 12,000 children in Georgia are exposed to domestic violence annually.

“It’s all about raising awareness, educating our community, and letting them know that they’re not alone.” Said Rhonda Dial.

The domestic violence roundtable is in charge of this event, they’re a collaboration of area agencies fighting back against domestic violence. Earlier this week, they listened to alternative ways to address the issue of violence. Representatives from the Solicitor’s Office say brain damage could contribute to violence.

“There are a few parts of the brain which can have an impact on violence. If we do a brain scan we can determine which of those areas might be affected.” Said Michelle Huiet.

Advocates hope this week, those who are hurting will come forward and break the cycle.

“Everybody in law enforcement along with the other entities that help all those people struggling with domestic violence. We’re just all wanting to break the cycle together.” Said Dial.

This is the third time they’ve taken their message to the street corner and they say it works. They get more phone calls because they saw them on the streets. That’s what it’s all about.

If you are a victim of domestic violence in Georgia call 1-800-33 HAVEN. In Alabama, call 1-800-650-6522. If you are in immediate danger call 911.

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