It's Happening in Butler's Backyard
It's easy to view domestic violence as something that "doesn't happen in our backyard," but with 1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men experiencing physical violence by an intimate partner, that's exactly where it's happening. It's happening in the home of your neighbor, your coworker, your siblings, and your best friend. It's affecting families, workplaces, schools, and our community. If we continue to ignore the signs, then Butler County is going to continue to suffer the losses of women, children, and men at the hands of abusive intimate partners.
In 2016, Pennsylvania grieved the loss of 102 victims of domestic violence; Butler County has already grieved multiple deaths this year. The presence of a gun in the home during a domestic violence incident increases the risk of homicide by at least 500%. Sometimes victims don't leave the relationship because they fear for their lives. Sometimes victims don't leave the relationship because they don't know how they'll be able to support themselves. Sometimes victims don't' leave the relationship because they hope the abuser will change. Sometimes victims don't leave the relationship because they don't know the resources. The most important steps you can take to help a victim in your life are:
- Be supportive and non-judgmental
- Do not think you know the best course of action. The most lethal time in an abusive relationship is when the victim leaves, so refer to VOICe for safety planning
- Know the resources. VOICe's hotline (1-800-400-8551) is available 24/7.
Victim Outreach Intervention Center (VOICe) provides free and confidential services to victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, and other violent crimes to individuals and families in Butler County. Our services include: 24-hour hotline, emergency shelter, housing programs, supportive and educative crisis counseling, legal advocacy, medical advocacy, children's services, and prevention & outreach programs.
We are dedicated to the safety of victims. It's time that the community takes responsibility for its members. Get involved in your loved ones' lives. Know their friends and intimate partners. Don't assume they are safe at home-ask if they're okay and let them know that you care.