At our meeting the other night, we had a speaker on Domestic Violence, Joe Chudoba, from the Erie County Sheriff’s Domestic Violence Unit.
We’ll take a post on the serious side today.
It’s getting tons of media time lately. One of those important topics we’d rather not talk about….
Most of us were surprised when Joe shared that our wonderful town had a high incidence of Domestic Violence. Twenty thousand of us share a beautiful island in the Niagara River. It’s isolated, which he shared is one reason domestic violence happens so frequently here. We have relatively high drug and alcohol use, another factor. It’s still a great place to live, like everywhere… we have our human issues.
I didn’t know much about Domestic Violence first-hand, thankfully. Think we all know someone, a friend, friend-of-a-friend or family member who has… endured.
Joe shared some scary statistics, the cycle of violence and where to go for help. He told stories… that were hard to hear. I’m glad he told them and that I was listening.
A number of years ago, I had a friend who survived Domestic Violence. Her guy was usually a pretty nice guy. But… he had a drinking problem. Drinking made him mean… especially to her. What I found most difficult to handle was that she felt shame. That she had to come to terms with that shame before she could tell people (besides the local police who saved her), before she could get out, before she felt good about herself. Not him, her.
Hard to imagine, right? Unless you’ve been there.
We’re all tough and strong about different things. Sometimes that person, the one you love the most, the one you’re dependent on, the one who is the parent to your children… Is the hardest to be strong and tough around, for lots of reasons…
There are people who can help. Contact your local domestic violence unit. Where we live, it’s the Erie County Sheriff’s Domestic Violence Hotline 716-862-HELP(4357).
Here’s the website.
What can you do? Believe someone who tells you things aren’t what they should be. Refer them to the Domestic Violence Unit in your area. Encourage them to call the Unit… anytime. Understand that they probably need more help than you can provide and helping them to take the first, the hardest steps, to make that phone call is what you can do.
Thanks for letting us go a little serious today…