October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month

OKEECHOBEE — October is Domestic Violence Awareness month in Okeechobee County. At their Oct. 11 meeting, the Okeechobee County Commission approved the proclamation, which states:

“the crime of domestic violence violates an individual’s privacy and dignity, security and humanity, due to systematic use of physical, emotional, sexual, psychological and economic control and/or abuse including abuse to children and the elderly.

Okeechobee County Commission Chair Terry Burroughs presented the proclamation for Domestic Violence Awareness Month to Jonathan Bean, executive director of Martha’s House, at the Oct. 11 county commission meeting. Lake Okeechobee News/Katrina Elsken.

The proclamation also notes “the problems of domestic violence are not confined to any group or groups of people, but cut across all economic, racial and societal barriers, and are supported by societal indifferences; and,

“The impact of domestic violence is wide ranging, directly affecting individuals and society as a whole, here in this community, throughout the United States and the world.”

“Thank you for recognizing domestic violence for the terrible crime that it is,” said Jonathan Bean, executive director of Martha’s House, a shelter for victims of domestic violence.

Mr. Bean said domestic violence is a serious problem in the Okeechobee community.

Martha’s House served 579 women and children this past year with direct services, he said.

“That’s a lot of people and those are just the ones who had the courage to reach out to us.

“We think these things happen to other people,” he continued.

“The women and children we served this year are your mothers, your sisters, your daughters, your friends and coworkers.

“They are around us all the time and they are just like you and me.
Domestic violence is your issue and my issue and we need to confront it together,” said Mr. Bean.

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