Gov. Markell Proclaims October as Domestic Violence Awareness Mo - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Gov. Markell Proclaims October as Domestic Violence Awareness Month in Del.

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WILMINGTON, Del. - To raise awareness of a crime that impacts the health, safety and welfare of thousands of Delawareans each year, Governor Jack Markell officially declared October as Domestic Violence Awareness Month.  

At the proclamation signing Monday, Governor Markell stated that since the passage of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) twenty years ago, our nation's response to domestic violence has greatly improved. Markell says that what was too often seen as a private matter best hidden behind closed doors is now recognized as a national problem. "Nearly 24,000 incidents of domestic violence were reported to law enforcement in 2013," said Governor Markell, "Statewide, the Family Court of Delaware issued 1,546 final Protection From Abuse Orders during 2013." Markell went on to say that although the state has made substantial progress in reducing domestic violence, one in four women and one in seven men in the United States still suffer serious physical violence at the hands of an intimate partner at least once during their lifetime.

Senator Blevins also spoke at the event Monday, welcoming the advocates, law enforcement and community partners. She thanked everyone in attendance for their commitment to addressing domestic violence in Delaware. "Domestic Violence Awareness Month is an opportunity to raise awareness in the community while honoring victims and survivors of domestic violence," said Senator Blevins.

Carol Post, Executive Director of the Delaware Coalition Against Domestic Violence also spoke at the event. "Domestic Violence Awareness Month provides a wonderful opportunity to highlight the great work being done in Delaware to address domestic and sexual violence ranging from prevention initiatives aimed at engaging men to newly funded projects that will improve our court system's response to victims of domestic violence. It is an exciting time," she said.

The topic of domestic violence is also something that's reached the Delaware pageants. Miss Delaware 2014 Brittany Lewis said, "Domestic Violence Awareness Month is important for the 1.3 million women that fall victim each year, for the mother that had to bury her daughter, the father who will never walk his daughter down the aisle, for the sister who lost her best friend and for the children who will be raised without a mother because of domestic violence."

The University of Delaware has a newly registered student organization that's dedicated to educating, engaging, and empowering men around issues of healthy masculinity to help change gender norms and end sexual and dating violence on campus. Brian Eiermann, a student at the University and president and co-founder of Men's Action Network spoke about the organization at Monday's event.

To speak with someone confidentially about domestic violence there are several numbers throughout the state that you can call. There are 24-hour domestic violence hotline numbers in New Castle County, Kent County, and Sussex County, as well as hotlines for those who don't speak English.

You can find the numbers below:

24-Hour Domestic Violence Hotline Numbers
New Castle County 302-762-6110
Northern Kent County 302-678-3886
Kent & Sussex Counties 302-422-8058

24 Hour Bi-lingual Hotlines
New Castle County 302-762-6110
Kent & Sussex Counties 302-745-9874
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