What affects all of us, does not discriminate, and can happen in our own back yards … domestic violence. Domestic violence is one of the most under-reported crimes in the nation and is known to affect one in four women. For decades, domestic violence was only recognized as an issue in adult relationships or marriages. Unfortunately, teens and young adults are facing similar issues through instances of dating violence. According to loveisrespect.org, nearly 1.5 million high school students nationwide experience physical abuse from a dating partner in a single year. Females, 20-24 years of age, are at the greatest risk of nonfatal intimate partner violence (National Coalition Against Domestic Violence).
Homesafe, Ashtabula County’s Domestic Violence shelter, will host its annual Walk Against Abuse, slated for 6 p.m. Wednesday at Kent State University at Ashtabula. The Walk is open to all area residents and signifies all aspects of recognizing abuse. Participants will walk the grounds to honor survivors, remember those that have lost their lives, and commit to ending the cycle of violence. In the event of rain, the activities will be held in the auditorium and gymnasium. Homesafe representatives will be joined by guest speakers Jim Timonere, City Manager- Ashtabula; and Suzanne Lyons and Mallory Babika, survivors. Collaborative agencies will also be on hand to lend their support to Homesafe and the community. Included are: Beatitude House- A House of Blessing, Catholic Charities, Community Action, and Victims of Crime.
Homesafe works diligently to educate the community and individuals on domestic and teen dating violence in hopes to increase awareness and decrease abuse. “Our activities this month, and those provided throughout the year, displays our efforts to make everyone aware that abuse exists. Our hopes through educating the community is that an increase in reporting will occur so we can begin to lessen the amount of incidences we see,” states Sherri Price, Executive Director. Price continues, “Our staff strives to provide guidance and support to those who receive our services in house or on an individual basis through support groups”. Homesafe also provides education and awareness to local school districts, focusing on individuals in grades 7th – 12th.
Homesafe, Inc. is a private, not-for-profit community agency, committed to breaking the cycle of violence in Ashtabula County and its surrounding areas through the provision of emergency and non-emergency services. Our mission is to assure greater awareness of the problems of domestic violence and abuse through the education and empowerment of individuals, families, and the community.