October 1 marks the start of National Domestic Violence Awareness Month in the United States. Usually, when people think of “domestic violence,” they think of physical abuse. But domestic violence encompasses more than just physical abuse. Domestic violence includes any intentional act that seeks to exert power and control over another person, including but not limited to: emotional abuse, mental abuse, financial abuse and sexual abuse.

   According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV), an average of 20 people per minute are victims of physical abuse by an intimate partner in the United States – more than 10 million women and men over the course of single year; 1 in 4 women and 1 in 7 men aged 18 years and older in the U.S. have been the victim of severe physical violence by an intimate partner in their lifetime; 1 in 15 children are exposed to intimate partner violence each year – and 90-percent of these children are eyewitnesses to this violence. Also, according to the National Commission on COVID-19 and Criminal Justice (NCCCJ), the number of domestic violence incidents in the US increased by 8.1-percent after lockdown orders were issued nationwide.

   This is why the need for SafeCenter Domestic and Sexual Violence Services of Clinton and Shiawassee Counties is so important in our local community. SafeCenter has continued to be fully operational since the COVID-19 pandemic began in March 2020, remaining on the front-lines and providing a variety of essential services to adult and child survivors, including crisis intervention in-person and via the hotline, emergency response to the hospital and police department, emergency shelter and off-site moteling when shelter has been at capacity, transitional supportive housing, basic needs (food, shelter, clothing, etc.), information and referrals, counseling, advocacy, supportive services and much more.

   To kick-off Domestic Violence Awareness Month 2021 and raise support for SafeCenter during what continues to be a critical time, the organization is holding their 2nd Annual Telethon Event scheduled for Tuesday, Oct. 5, Wednesday, Oct. 6, and Thursday, Oct. 7 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. each day. Community members are encouraged to call in to the SafeCenter office at (989) 723-9716 during this time and pledge support over the phone. Individuals can give over the phone, in-person at the office or online at www.thesafecenter.org/donate.

   By giving to SafeCenter, you partner in the mission to empower, advocate, educate and prevent – and provide direct, essential services to adults and children who are in dangerous and potentially lethal situations. We can’t do this work alone. Take a stand against domestic violence this October, support SafeCenter and help make our community a safer place to live, work and play for all.

Save-The-Date: SafeCenter Telethon Event Scheduled for Oct. 5, 6 and 7 was last modified: September 28th, 2021 by Karen Elford