October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month

In recognition of October as Domestic Violence Awareness Month, the Michigan State Police (MSP) is seeking to educate citizens regarding domestic violence and the resources available to friends and family to help support victims.

Domestic violence is a pattern of behavior in which one person uses physical, sexual or emotional abuse to control another person. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, on average, 24 people per minute are victims of rape, physical violence or stalking by an intimate partner in the United States.

If you know someone who is being abused, you can help him or her by:

– Educating yourself about domestic violence by seeking information from websites and support groups.

– Remembering there is no “quick fix” to domestic violence.

– Making sure the victim knows you believe them.

– Listening attentively.

– Not blaming the victim for what happened to them.

– Taking the victim’s fears seriously and expressing sincere concern.

– Not making judgments.

– Reminding the victim that what has occurred is not their fault.

For more information on local domestic violence support services, visit the Michigan Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence Web site at www.mcadsv.org or call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233).

Local resources include the local county Prosecutor’s Office Victim Services Units — which can be contacted through the prosecutor’s office, Hannahville Victim Services at 906-280-2657, and Tri-County Safe Harbor at its 24-hour crisis line 1-800-682-1649 or 906-789-1166.