Domestic Violence Awareness Month
Boise, Oct. 3, 2011 - An impressive coalition of community partners came together today to rededicate themselves to the fight against domestic violence.
The theme of this new statewide campaign is "One Too Many; Connect to End Domestic Violence".
- 5,945 incidents of violence between spouses, ex-spouses, and those in dating relationships were reported in Idaho in 2010, according to Boise Chief of Police Michael Masterson, taken from Idaho State Police statewide crime data.
- 18 domestic related fatalities in Idaho between Jan & Oct., 2011, according to Wendy Olson, US Attorney for Idaho.
- Of those 18 domestic violence related fatalities, 5 were infants or children, according to Sherry Iverson, Director, Idaho Perinatal Project.
- 1 in 4 Idaho women will experience domestic or sexual abuse in their lifetimes, according to Bea Black, Executive Director, WCA of Idaho.
- Every 88 minutes, a new case of domestic violence is reported in Idaho, according to Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden.
But there is encouraging news.
- Domestic Violence reporting is up nationally; 51% by women and 37% by men.
- Today, the Idaho Coalition Against Sexual and Domestic Violence, Idaho Chiefs of Police Association, Idaho Sheriff’s Association, Idaho Prosecuting Attorney’s Association, Idaho Perinatal Association the Academy of Pediatrics-Idaho Chapter, the Idaho Council on Domestic Violence & Victim Assistance, Women & Children’s Alliance (representing domestic violence programs), and other governmental and nongovernmental agencies came together to recognize Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and pledged to work even closer together to better respond and prevent domestic violence.
"Behind every number, there's a person," said Chief Masterson, who represented the Boise Police Department and the Idaho Chiefs of Police Association at today's press conference.
"Domestic violence shatters lives, destroys families and devastates communities in our state. We must continue our work with community and criminal justice systems partners in improving our efforts to prevent domestic violence and respond to the needs of victims, and to make sure offenders are held accountable for the violence." said Chief Masterson.
"Idaho Police Chiefs and their officers are committed to connecting with all community systems including schools, faith-based institutions, employers and others to increase safety for victims and their children."
The groups coming together today at the invitation of the Idaho Coalition Against Sexual & Domestic Violence hope education and awareness will help victims and potential abusers get help and stop the violence. One project underway this month; hospitals will give away onesies to all babies born in Idaho, courtesy of the Idaho Perinatal Project. The onesies carry the message "My Safe Loving Home" to remind parents, grandparents and caregivers of the importance of bringing children into a secure, loving environment.
"Domestic Violence is an important health care issue," said Sherry Iverson of the Idaho Perinatal Project. Iverson says domestic violence is responsible for 31% of all maternal injuries and deaths in the US.
Bea Black, Executive Director of the Women's and Children's Alliance of Boise hopes domestic violence awareness will reach the same levels as cancer awareness. Black recognized the importance of cancer awareness, but also cited statistics that show twice as many women will be victims of domestic and sexual violence as will fall victim to breast cancer.
Sheriff Dave Johnson of Bingham County, representing the Idaho Sheriff's Association said today, while there is no way to predict an abusive partner’s behavior, the following factors are warning signs of increased dangerousness in the relationship:
- History of domestic violence
- Threats to kill the partner or their children or others
- Threats of suicide by the abuser
- A recent separation – escaping the relationship, !ling papers
- Obsessive, coercive, or controlling behavior – monitoring everything
- Prior police contact – for domestic violence or other criminal behavior
- Alcohol or drug use by the abuser
How to get help:
Domestic Violence Crisis Hotline: (208) 343-7025