Time to help

end the abuse

Every day, there are countless national media reports about violence against women and children. These headline-making stories represent only the tip of the iceberg. Kansas is no exception to this violence what we see happening in Kansas parallels what is happening nationally. Behind every headline, there are infinite untold stories that significantly impact the public health and safety of all citizens.

One in 10 adult women in Kansas report domestic violence victimization, which can include isolation, emotional, verbal, sexual and physical abuse, as well as financial abuse and control. Sexual and domestic violence enters our workplaces, our churches and our schools. It destroys families and devastates communities. Survivors fill our emergency rooms and safe shelters, and the cost of doing nothing is high.

The Kansas Bureau of Investigation reports that 35 adults and 14 children lost their lives as a result of domestic violence in 2009. Unfortunately, the 2010 statistics are just as staggering, with preliminary numbers reflecting 20 adults and six children through the month of August.

All Kansans can do something to make a difference today simply knowing the Kansas Crisis Hotline number, (888) END-ABUSE (888-363-2287) ensures that everyone will be ready to assist when someone they know needs their help. In addition, consider donating time or resources to your local sexual or domestic violence advocacy organization; teach the children and teens in your life how to recognize the signs of an unhealthy relationship; and contact your state legislators and ask them to maintain funding for life-saving services for victims and their children across the state.

During the month of October, all Kansans are invited to join advocates and allies across the state as we remember those who have lost their lives, as we offer support for those who have survived, and as we encourage all community leaders to assess what they can do to create safer communities for all Kansans. Visit kcsdv.org to find advocacy organizations and awareness events near you.

JOYCE GROVER,

Topeka

Grover is executive director of the Kansas Coalition Against Sexual & Domestic Violence.