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Awareness is first step to solve problem

It is a serious societal problem that gets a little extra attention every October, but truly needs to be the focus 365 days of the year.

Organizations and groups will be celebrating Domestic Violence Awareness Month all October by trying to keep the focus on the disruptive and dangerous behavior that can be such a negative force in our communities.

Domestic violence is something that can impact everyone, regardless of income, social status, background, age, ethnicity or even gender.

Most people identify domestic violence victims as being women. That is certainly the general rule but some men are victims as well.

More than 1.3 women are victims of domestic violence every year, with an unknown number of cases going unreported.

If nothing else comes out of the October awareness events, we hope that individuals realize that this is everyone’s problem. And that help is out there for those willing to seek a change.

If even one person — man or woman — becomes empowered through these awareness activities and decides to make a change in their lives, then the efforts have to be considered worth it.

No one should have to live in fear and no one should have to be subjected to abuse.

There is help out there, but the first step is for our society to acknowledge that a problem exists and taking steps to change it.