Published Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Domestic violence – our community must be aware of this critical issue

Editorial

We hope all our readers took time to read the in-depth package of news stories in Sunday’s edition about domestic violence.

The stories included an interview with the Newnan woman who was severely beaten with a baseball bat. Her boyfriend has been charged in the incident. There were also news stories quoting local officials and others about the alarming number of domestic violence cases locally, in Georgia and throughout our nation. The statistics show that there is a one-in-four chance that a woman will be a victim of domestic abuse.

“It happens, and it happens a lot,” Linda Kirkpatrick, director of the Community Welcome House in Newnan, told reporter John Winters.

The problem crosses all economic barriers.

“There are no boundaries,” said Kirkpatrick. “Most people say it doesn’t happen in my group of friends, but it does.”

The local numbers are startling: 330, the number of domestic violence calls to the Coweta Sheriff’s Office in 2012; 121, the number of domestic violence arrests in Coweta in 2012; more than 800 calls made to the Community Welcome House in 2012; 134, women and children stayed in the Welcome House last year. Many other cases go unreported, officials say.

It’s important that everyone in our community becomes aware of the seriousness of domestic violence here. It’s not just here, it’s everywhere. And, indeed, it crosses all social and economic classes of people.

If you did not read the Sunday stories, we encourage you to do so. And if you know anyone who needs help or more information about domestic violence, we urge you to contact one of these agencies:

Community Welcome House, 770-304-0966 or email www.communitywelcomehouse.org

Georgia domestic abuse hotline, 1-800-334-2836

Georgia Commission on Family Violence, www.gcfv.org/

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