County recognizes Domestic Violence month

OKEECHOBEE — One in four women will experience domestic violence during her lifetime, according to the information shared at the Sept. 19 meeting of the Okeechobee County Commission. The commissioners declared October as Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

Lake Okeechobee News/Katrina Elsken
At their Sept. 19 meeting, the Okeechobee County commissioners declared October as Domestic Violence Month in Okeechobee County. (Left to right) Commission Chairman Terry Burroughs presented the proclamation to Martha’s House representatives Jonathan Bean, Edna Malagon and Raquel Moreno.

“It is very important that the severity is recognized,” said Jonathan Bean. Domestic violence is a health issue and a law enforcement issue, Mr. Bean said. He said instead of treating it as a private matter, it should be considered a public concern.

Every year hundreds of Okeechobee County women and children are suffering from domestic violence, he said. Domestic violence creates additional demands on the county’s medical and law enforcement resources. Domestic violence affects businesses with lost work hours. Children involved in domestic violence situations lose time in school, and the stress of the home situation creates more educational challenges.

On Oct. 26, Martha’s House invites the public to come out to Flagler Park to learn more about domestic violence during the “Walk in my shoes” event. Participants will go through the decision-making process a victim of domestic violence goes through every day.

He said in November, Martha’s House will also host a brunch celebrating women.

Martha’s House is a full-service, domestic violence shelter for survivors and their children. Services include a 24-hour emergency shelter, a 24-hour hotline, outreach services, violence prevention education, court hearing accompaniment and injunction assistance.

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