October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month

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Take a stand against domestic violence and help spread awareness about the impacts of domestic violence, and how you can make a difference

SARC invites the community to come together to take a stand against domestic violence.

As part of Domestic Violence Awareness Month, the Sexual Assault/Spouse Abuse Resource Center (SARC) is calling on the community to help raise awareness for a significant concern throughout Maryland: the rising level of domestic violence. The need for assistance is dire. Domestic violence affects 1 in 4 women (24.3%) and 1 in 7 men (13.8%) aged 18 and older in the United States; domestic violence doesn’t discriminate against race, religion, sexual orientation, culture or status. SARC is calling on the community to take a stand, get involved, and help to end the violence.

Harford Mutual Insurance Company lights up purple to spread awareness and bring attention to Domestic Violence Awareness Month

According to the Maryland Network Against Domestic Violence (MNADV) there were 46 domestic violence related deaths in Maryland last year (July 2016-June 2017). In one day, 956 victims of domestic violence were served in Maryland. On September 14, 2016, 22 domestic violence programs in Maryland participated in the National Census of Domestic Violence Services. On that day, 956 victims were served: 407 found refuge in emergency shelters or transitional housing provided by the local domestic violence programs, and 549 adults and children received non-residential assistance and services, including counseling, legal advocacy, and children’s support groups. There were 15,301 Domestic Violence-Related Crimes in Maryland last year (Fiscal Year 2015). The latest domestic violence statistics are reported by the Maryland State Police in the Crime in Maryland: 2015 Uniform Crime Report (UCR).

Many local agencies and businesses have already responded to the call to support victims of domestic violence and to increase awareness in Harford County about SARC services and resources for victims. The Harford County Government presented SARC with a proclamation declaring October Domestic Violence Awareness Month. The Harford Mutual Insurance Company decided to light their building in purple to bring attention to the issue of domestic violence; Harford Community College, Harford Bank, the Bel Air branch of the Harford County Library, and AleCraft Brewery have all united and displayed purple ribbons and signage in an effort to increase awareness. During the week of October 22nd downtown Havre de Grace will light the downtown purple in observance of Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

The Bel Air Branch of Harford Bank displays signage and purple ribbons for Domestic Violence Awareness month.

Since 1978, SARC has provided hope, resources, shelter and advocacy to victims of domestic violence, sexual violence, child abuse, and stalking. Services include a 24 Hour-Helpline, crisis intervention, counseling, legal representation and advocacy, a confidential safe house, and community outreach and education. The SARC Community Educator provides free educational presentations to the community on what a healthy relationship is, red flags, bystander intervention, and primary prevention. Last year alone, SARC provided free and confidential services to over 2,000 women, men and children fleeing the violence in their home. 2,241 crisis calls were answered on the 24 hour helpline, over 1,100 counseling sessions were provided to children and adults, and 9,909 safe bed nights were provided to victims seeking emergency shelter.

Supporting SARC translates to meaningful assistance to victims and survivors of domestic violence, child abuse, sexual violence and stalking in Harford County – SARC is the only organization providing these types of services in the area.

If you believe a friend or a loved one is experiencing abuse, you can help by breaking the silence. Call the SARC 24-hour helpline at 410-836-8430 if you are in need of help; or visit www.sarc-maryland.org.

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