Domestic Violence Month Is October

Article excerpt

Every 15 seconds, somewhere in the world a woman is abused.

That abuse is not always physical -- it can take other forms..

Every 15 seconds is a scary thought, according to Sharon Youngerman, executive director of Quigley House. It's even scarier if you're the one being abused.

"That's why it is extremely important to get the word out about domestic violence," Youngerman said.

Quigley House, a domestic violence and sexual assault center in Clay County recently announced the 2000 "Every Woman Can . . . Live Without Fear" campaign. The monthlong event is held every October in conjunction with national Domestic Violence Awareness Month to increase community awareness of domestic violence.

"The Every Woman Can campaign encourages everyone in the community to get involved in ending domestic violence. This year's theme is "Domestic Violence -- It Is Your Business," Youngerman said The word about domestic violence should spread quickly. Activities start tomorrow with Unity Day from noon until 3 p.m., at the Orange Park Town Hall. There will be food, face-painting and information about domestic violence.

"We have a really exciting month ahead of us," Youngerman said. "It's important to get the word out to the victims as well as the people around them."

Youngerman said that in most cases, people just tell victims of domestic violence some very insulting words: "Why don't you just leave."

"To tell a victim of domestic violence to just leave is very insulting," she said. "In many cases, it's the most dangerous thing a woman can do -- leave. Once they leave, chances are they are killed."

To prevent the latter, Youngerman has some advice, not only to the victims of domestic abuse, but also to the people who come in contact with them and their abusers.

"We want to educate victims and to make them aware of the services that are available to them," she said. …