Domestic violence affects 1 in 4

One in four women will be a victim of family violence in her lifetime.

My church, which is starting a Violence Intervention and Prevention program, urges you to call the Domestic Violence 24-Hour Hotline at 1-800-700-SAFE if someone you love is hurting you or if you suspect a friend or family member is suffering.

Think about it. If one in four women is a victim, then, most likely, people you know are hurting.

A brochure from Lovers Lane United Methodist Church suggests some ways that you can offer support.

* Listen without judging. They may feel responsible, ashamed, inadequate or afraid.

* Tell them that it is NOT their fault.

* Make sure they know they are not alone.

* Explain that relationship abuse is a crime. They can seek protection from police, courts and domestic programs and shelters.

* Encourage them to keep a log or diary of the abuse.

* Think of ways you can help. If they decide to leave, they may need money, assistance finding a place to live, a place to store belongings or help finding a safe home for pets.

* Keep yourself safe.

–Joy

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