As we are now midway through the first month 2013, it is crucial that we, as a community, focus more on bringing education, awareness and tangible resources to the table for victims and survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault. And, while our overall reported case numbers are down, they are still much too high. Here’s a quick snapshot:
*Memphis Police Department’s Real Time Crime Center reported 1,305 domestic violence offenses
*Memphis Police Department’s Domestic Violence Bureau reported handling 1, 588 cases in December, 2012
*MPD’s DV Bureau reported 23,375 domestic violence cases for 2012 (down from 23,696 in 2011). There were 30 DV related homicides (up from 25 in 2011)
Think there’s nothing you can do to help bring these numbers down? Think again. There’s something we can all do. You can be a listening ear without judgment for someone who needs to share. You can offer them some tangible resources, such as a job, food, toiletries, pay a bill or provide some clothing. You can go to them and let them know that you’re there for them. Sometimes, a person isn’t ready to talk at the time YOU think is appropriate. Be there for them when they are ready. Stop saying what you wouldn’t do or accept. Unless you’ve been a victim, it is very difficult to say what you would or wouldn’t do. The biggest and most significant thing you can do is to simply DO SOMETHING. A positive something, but definitely something. Domestic violence is your business, too. If you’re not sure what to do, where to go or how to get started, there are a number of places that can assist you , whether you’re a victim or aiding someone who is.
*Statistics obtained from the Family Safety Center, Memphis, TN