WOODSFIELD — Monroe County commissioners declared October as Domestic Violence Awareness Month.
Chelsea Scott, administrative compliance coordinator for Tri-County Help Center, presented Commissioners Mick Schumacher, Diane Burkhart and Bill Bolon with a proclamation at Monday’s meeting. Also on hand were Monroe County Advocate Shaylynn Rush and Sexual Assault Program Facilitator JaQue Galloway.
Scott said there has been an increase in male victimization compared to last year, according to the National Network to End Domestic Violence.
“Instead of one in ten men experiencing domestic violence in their lifetime, those numbers have now changed to one in seven men,” she said.
Scott said they are using various prevention methods to target the male population in an attempt to help decrease those numbers. She said studies have indicated that if prevention methods are taught at an earlier age, it is more effective.
“So our advocates are working on different groups, different teen groups, and we are very early in the stages of partnering with Sardis Detention Center to get into the facility on a weekly basis to do prevention and coach a boy into men program,” she said.
Schumacher asked Scott what has changed to lead to the increase in male victims. Scott surmises it is due to awareness efforts and people feeling more comfortable with speaking up.
“It is becoming more popular to talk about victimization. Victims have more courage to come forward and report. We know the numbers … are twice that many because of victims who have not yet reached our agency because we know the struggle that victims have when reporting. …
“Bringing the issue to light is bringing more people forward,” she added.
This year’s national theme for awareness is “Every1 Knows Some1.” Scott said the meaning is to show the prevalence of domestic violence victimization.
Scott said they have a series of activities planned throughout the month to help promote awareness for domestic violence. The proclamation signing by commissioners is the first step. She said they will also attend Belmont and Harrison commissioners’ meetings this week as the center serves all three counties.
The National Week of Action will take place Oct. 18-22 where each day will have a different theme where residents are encouraged to engage, participate and take action to support survivors of domestic violence. Scott said they ask residents to join the conversation on TCHC Facebook page at www.facebook.com/TriCountyHelpCenter. She said they are also requesting residents don the color purple, the national symbol for support for survivors and victims of domestic violence, during that week. Businesses who pledge purple or opt to display the “Every1 Knows Some1” sign will be featured on the center’s social media page.
Additionally, the 15th annual Domestic Violence Awareness March will be held at 5:30 p.m. Oct. 20 at the TCHC St. Clairsville office located at 104 1/2 N. Marietta St. Participants will gather in the parking lot of the office heading toward the front of the Belmont County Courthouse where the ceremony will conclude with a “Remember My Name” portion where the names of victims in Belmont, Harrison and Monroe counties who have lost their lives to domestic violence will be read aloud. The St. Clairsville Police Department will provide an escort for the walk.
In 2020, the TCHC provided 30 survivors and their children with 859 nights of emergency safe shelter, 142 survivors with legal advocacy, 547 individuals with counseling, and received 190 crisis hotline calls.
In other matters, commissioners said the Monroe County Courthouse will be closed Monday in observance of Columbus Day. Commissioners will next meet at 9 a.m. Oct. 12 in the commissioners’ meeting room at the courthouse.