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Domestic abuse awareness vital

Breaking the silence and seeking help is often the hardest part for victims of domestic violence.

For many of those who are subjected to domestic abuse, it is a crime that causes as much emotional and psychological harm as it does physical.

And it was with that in mind that the Lawrence County Domestic Violence Task Force planned a candlelight vigil to raise awareness of domestic violence and the dangers it poses within our families and within our communities.

This is an important message year round but one that comes to light each October during National Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

Here in Lawrence County domestic disputes are among the most frequent calls to which law enforcement agencies respond. Often these are dangerous situations that only continue to escalate until it often becomes a tragedy that cannot be undone.

In recent years several murders have been directly tied to domestic disputes of some kind, painfully showing what can happen when situations like these go unresolved.

It is awareness efforts like this that can make all the difference, creating avenues toward positive action.

If even one individual — man or woman — who is in an abusive relationship gains the courage or inspiration to make a change in his or her life, then these efforts have to be considered a tremendous success.

No one should have to live in fear or stay in an abusive environment. It is important that anyone facing these challenges understands that he or she is not alone and there are agencies out there that want to help and want to make a difference.

The Lawrence County Domestic Violence Task Force deserves credit for leading the way.