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Domestic abuse affects everyone

Make no mistake about it, domestic disputes are the most common call to which Lawrence County law enforcement agencies respond.

These are dangerous situations authorities are essentially entering into blindly as they try to determine what happened and prevent any further harm to either party.

Every call and every cry for help should be taken seriously. Friends and family should always be alert to warning signs of abuse.

Far too often, the victims remain silent until it is too late. This may seem unfathomable to some but most victims have a myriad of reasons. Chief among these include fear of public embarrassment or scrutiny.

In recent years, several of the most shocking murders or violent crimes in Lawrence County have been tied to domestic violence or allegations of abuse.

The scariest part may be that this may be occurring far more than the general public even realizes.

The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence offers some startling statistics.

One in every four women will experience domestic violence in her lifetime.

An estimated 1.3 million women are victims of physical assault by an intimate partner each year.

Approximately 85 percent of domestic violence victims are women.

Almost one-third of female homicide victims are killed by a spouse or boyfriend.

In 70 to 80 percent of intimate partner homicides, no matter which partner was killed, the man physically abused the woman before the murder.

The Lawrence County Domestic Violence Task Force operates a shelter that serves both male and female victims of domestic abuse. For more information call (740) 532-7111.

The key is that this isn’t a private matter. It isn’t a family matter. Domestic violence affects our entire community and it will take vigilance on everyone’s part to eliminate these situations before it is too late.