October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Escanaba Public Safety along with the Alliance Against Violence and Abuse, Inc. are joining together so the community can better understand domestic violence and help us with the goal of ending it.
Domestic violence can be defined as a pattern of abusive behaviors by an intimate partner. This can be done in many forms such as physical abuse, emotional abuse, verbal abuse, sexual abuse, financial abuse, and stalking.
Domestic Violence is one of the most dangerous calls a law enforcement officer has to respond to given the unknown nature of the suspect's and victim's demeanor. Even though the victim's safety is first and foremost, law enforcement officers have to consider weapons involved, traffic safety, children present, and any alcohol/drug abuse.
Law enforcement officers are required to investigate all complaints of domestic violence and to make arrests where probable cause indicates a crime has occurred. Officers have to make split second judgment calls with this type of emergency situation.
The trend of domestic violence is increasing every year right here in our community.
Escanaba Public Safety has responded to the following domestic violence and aggravated assault complaints for the following 3 years. In 2009 we responded to 145 domestic violence and five aggravated assault complaints. In 2010 they responded to 162 domestic violence and nine aggravated assault complaints. So far in 2011 we have responded to 143 domestic violence and seven aggravated assault complaints.
The Alliance Against Violence and Abuse, Inc. serve men, women and children who are victims of sexual assault and domestic violence. These services include emergency shelter, advocacy, and groups. For 2009 we served 256 individuals. In 2010 the Alliance served 230 individuals. So far for 2011 the Alliance has served 277 individuals.
Currently the two agencies are members of the Delta County Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Task Force. The task force is sincerely dedicated to increase public awareness and community involvement in efforts to stop the violence.
Domestic violence is a crime, so if you suspect domestic violence please report it to local law enforcement. For more information about domestic violence contact the Alliance Against Violence and Abuse, Inc. 906-789-9207 or our 24-hour crisis line 1-800-682-1649.