Domestic Violence Awareness

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Philadelphia, February 4, 2011:  As most of us prepare for the Super Bowl on Sunday, whether it’s looking forward to great food, an exciting play on the field or the memorable or not so note worthy commercials during the game, District Attorney Seth Williams is urging everyone to keep their emotions in check.

“Even though the Eagles will not be playing on Sunday,” says District Attorney Seth Williams, “I will be watching the game nonetheless.  I hope families and friends will gather and enjoy themselves responsively.  You can put your hands on a hoagie or chips, but you should never put your hands on a loved one out of anger or frustration.  The problem of domestic violence is one that needs to be addressed every day of the week, not just on Super Bowl Sunday.  We want to make sure that victims of domestic abuse know they do have options, there are places you can turn to for help.”

One in every four women will experience some type of domestic violence in her lifetime.  Studies show that domestic violence is the leading cause of injury to women, and as many as ten million children may witness some form of domestic abuse every year. 

Approximately one in three adolescent girls in the US is a victim of physical, emotional or verbal abuse from a dating partner.  This is a figure that far exceeds victimization rates for other types of violence affecting youth.  In a singe day in 2008, 16,458 children were living in a domestic violence shelter or transitional house facility. 

Here in Philadelphia the numbers are alarming for domestic violence homicide.  In 2008 there were 21 domestic violence homicides, in 2009 the number was 37, and for 2010 through September the number was 21.  What makes these numbers even more troubling is that from 2008 to 2009 the number of all homicides in the city went down.  

The number of domestic violence cases in general in Philadelphia are troubling.  In 2009, there were 11,965 petitions filed seeking a Protection from Abuse order, and there were 4,890 criminal cases filed when those Protection from Abuse orders were broken.

If you are a victim of domestic violence you should immediately call 9-1-1.  The qualified members of the Philadelphia Police Department are trained to deal with all situations.  There are also several agencies in the city that victims can turn to: Women Against Abuse, www.womenagainstabuse.org, 215-386-1280; Congreso de Latinos Unidos, www.congreso.net, 215-763-8870; Women in Transition, www.womenintransitioninc.org, 215-564-5301; and Lutheran Settlement House, www.lutheransettlement.org, 215-426-1129, 215-387-2587 and 215-235-3422.  There is also a 24 hour domestic violence hot-line in the city 1-866-723-3014.


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