The Norman Transcript

Opinion

October 2, 2013

Raising domestic violence awareness

NORMAN — County commissioners throughout the state are declaring October as domestic violence awareness month. Most of the activities begin Thursday with a state Capitol press conference and ceremony with Attorney General Scott Pruitt.

Thousands of Oklahomans are impacted by domestic violence each year. Punishing offenders is complicated as victims often don’t want prosecutors and police involved. It’s a vicious cycle that often leads to serious injury or death. Oklahoma law enforcement has made significant advancement in recent years.

“I’m really proud of how far we’ve come in Cleveland County,” said Commissioner Darry Stacy, a retired Norman police officer. “It’s great to see the community get behind and help these people.”

Commissioner Stacy and Undersheriff Rhett Burnett recalled getting their first Polaroid cameras to document domestic violence allegations they responded to as police officers.

Nowadays, the push is to provide education and support for those who want to leave abusive relationships. Wireless telephone companies have gotten behind drives to provide free telephones to victims.

Locally, activities include a showing of the documentary “Telling Amy’s Story” at 7 p.m. Oct. 8 at Hillsdale Freewill Baptist College, displays during the Second Friday art walk Oct. 11, a domestic violence simulation Oct. 18 and a silent witness display Oct. 29 at the Norman Public Library.

Victim advocates are encouraged to wear purple on Thursday to call awareness to domestic violence.

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