To The Daily Sun,
New Beginnings is raising awareness and encouraging community participation during National Domestic Violence Awareness Month in October. This year's theme is a powerful one, Awareness plus Action Will Spur Social Change. By lifting the voices of victims and survivors and providing opportunities to all those who want to progress the movement, we will create the social changes that eliminate violence for all.
The statistics continue to show how much domestic violence negatively impacts our local communities and the overall safety of the nation. One in four women will be the victim of domestic violence at some point in her lifetime, and, on average three women are killed every day at the hands of a current or former intimate partner.
"While physical marks may often be the most obvious signs of the harm caused by domestic violence, the true extent of the pain goes much deeper. Victims not only face abuse, but often find themselves left with significant financial insecurity," writes President Obama in his official proclamation.
The economic downturn has had a devastating effect on local programs working to serve survivors of abuse. While a bad economy does not cause domestic violence, it can make it worse. At the same time, there are fewer options for survivors to escape. According to the 2012 Mary Kay Truth About Abuse Survey, nearly eight out of ten domestic violence shelters nationwide reported an increase in women seeking help, while the vast majority experienced decreases in funding.
Last year, New Beginnings served 927 victims and survivors while providing shelter to almost 50 women and children fleeing violence. That is, 927 mothers, fathers, sons, daughters, brothers, sisters and friends. But you can make a difference in their lives! By participating in awareness events throughout the month of October you can become the change we hope to see.
On Oct. 19, starting at 11 a.m., our organization will be raising awareness at the Lakes Region Community College cafeteria with brochures and representatives from New Beginnings to answer your questions. National #PurpleThursday is Oct. 20; show your support for victims of domestic violence by wearing purple.
Members of the health care community will find Oct. 12's Health Cares About Domestic Violence Day especially helpful. This nationally-recognized day raises awareness and educates healthcare professionals about healthy relationships and how to offer referrals to domestic violence advocates.
If you're planning a night out, Temple B'nai Israel is hosting its third biannual "We Care" fundraising gala on Nov. 19 at New Hampton School's McEvoy Theater. The event will feature live music by North Shore A Capella, featured on NBC's "The Sing Off." Complimentary food and refreshments will be served, and there will be ample space for dancing. All proceeds from the event will support New Beginnings-Without Violence and Abuse and our sister agency in Plymouth, Voices Against Violence of Plymouth.
You can find out more about our events or about other ways to help by visiting: newbeginningsnh.org or calling 603-528-6511. Please consider volunteering for or donating to New Beginnings, the only sexual assault and domestic violence center and shelter serving Belknap County.
Please join us, and support our mission to increase safety and healing for victims and prevent violence before it occurs. If you need help or information, domestic violence advocates at New Beginnings are standing by to help. Our 24-hour support line is 1-866-644-3574. You don't have to be in crisis to call.
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