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October proclaimed Domestic Violence Awareness Month

Members of the Plumas County Board of Supervisors approved a proclamation declaring October as Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

Two representatives of Plumas Rural Services Domestic Violence Services were available Tuesday, Oct. 9, to read a proclamation to the board and seek supervisors’ official approval.

Tamara Atkins-Carpenter, legal advocate, read the proclamation, while Program Coordinator Elizabeth Page answered questions from supervisors.

“Thank you for the work you do,” said Supervisor Lori Simpson. “I know it’s very important.”

While Supervisor Sherrie Thrall seconded that, she asked the two women if more events could be done outside Quincy. “I noticed activities in Quincy and domestic violence knows no physical boundaries.”

Thrall went on to say that she’s aware of people in the Chester/Lake Almanor area who couldn’t come all the way to Quincy to participate in activities such as the recent Color Run with pets that was held. Thrall added that some of the people she has in mind don’t have transportation.

Page agreed with Thrall’s suggestion and said her program would make an effort to do more in other communities.

The facts

In the past 12 months (October 2017 to October 2018), 122 clients have been served by PRS Domestic Violence Services, said Atkins-Carpenter. “Notably, there are many more who have not come forward to seek help,” she said.

One in every three teenagers is involved in domestic violence, according to statistics from the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence. One in every four women and one in every six men will experience it during their lifetime, according to the recent proclamation.

Approximately 15.5 million children are exposed to domestic violence every year, Atkins-Carpenter said

According to the proclamation, domestic violence violates an individual’s privacy and dignity, security and humanity, due to systematic use of physical, emotional, sexual, psychological and economic control and/or abuse, including to children, pets and the elderly, Atkins-Carpenter noted.

“Domestic violence is widespread and is devastating to society as a whole,” she stated.

And the problem isn’t confined to one particular group or groups of people. It crosses all economic, racial, gender, educational, religious and societal barriers and is sustained by societal indifference.

As an aside, Page said that more men are willing to report a partner who is abusive. The stigma that men should put up with being abused is changing, she added.

“The survivors of violence should have access to medical and legal services, counseling, safe housing and other supportive services so that they can escape the cycle of abuse,” Atkins-Carpenter said.

Local programs such as the one at PRS, are backed by state coalitions, national organizations and nationwide efforts by other agencies. These groups are committed to increasing public awareness of domestic violence. It is prevalent throughout society and the only way to eliminate domestic violence is through education and prevention efforts.

“It is important to recognize the compassion and dedication of the individuals who provide services to victims of domestic violence and work to increase public understanding of this significant problem,” Atkins-Carpenter said.

Following the proclamation reading, Supervisor Michael Sanchez said, “Don’t forget the schools,” as the two women outlined their services and activities.

Page said they include their tear-off sheets in bathrooms in the schools — much like the do in other agencies and facilities, including some businesses — but she added they could branch out a little better.

Simpson agreed saying that relationships teens’ form can be very abusive. “We are in the schools, just at a different level,” Page said.

Page added that her program also offers the 52-week batterers’ intervention program through the courts.

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