Domestic violence is a serious issue, both in Bartholomew County and nationwide. It results in emotional distress, families torn apart, physical injuries and sometimes even death.
It’s an issue that demands continued awareness efforts to educate people that domestic violence is unacceptable.
Fortunately, multiple, serious efforts are taking place locally and drawing positive support, including in the past few weeks during Domestic Violence Awareness Month.
On Oct. 5 on the lawn in front of Harrison College, the names of 55 victims — including two from Columbus — who died in domestic violence incidents in past year were read, and the sheets on which their names were written were hung on a clothesline to promote awareness of the issue. More than 40 people attended. A clothesline display was also set up nearby on the IUPUC campus.
Ongoing education is needed locally. The number of domestic abuse victims helped by Turning Point Domestic Violence Services in the Columbus area is up slightly from last year, as is the number of face-to-face contacts Turning Point has with those in need of help.
Support for domestic violence awareness has been seen in other ways. The second annual Not So Newlywed Game, a fundraiser for Turning Point, was conducted Oct. 6 at the Upland Columbus Pump House and attracted a standing-room-only crowd of 203 people and netted $23,600. The fundraiser is used as a way to promote healthy relationships.
Most recently, more than 100 people participated in the fifth annual “Men Take a Stand” event Oct. 20 at Columbus City Hall to raise awareness about dating and domestic violence. The timing of the event was fortuitous — coming about two weeks after the release of a decade-old video in which current GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump made vulgar comments about inappropriately touching women. Speakers used the incident to remind everyone that fathers need to set positive role models for their children, which can go a long way in changing attitudes and establishing positive values.
These annual events, in addition to the longstanding Dance Marathon fundraiser in March for Turning Point, serve as good and appreciated examples of local efforts to educate about domestic violence and change attitudes that can curb the problem. Those who have participated are to be commended, because what they learn and share with others has the power to spread an important message that must be heard and understood.