POMEROY, Ohio – October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

The Meigs County Prosecutor’s Office and Meigs Victim Assistance are promoting events during the Month of October to bring education and awareness to domestic violence in Meigs County.

One of the activities include bookmarks that have been created and will be distributed to the local high schools for their students. The bookmarks focus on safe dating and addresses abusive relationship patterns. The Meigs County Prosecutor James K. Stanley and the Meigs Victims Assistance Program encourages everyone to participate in the Light the Town campaign.

The Light the Town campaign is described in a joint statement from the agencies, “We are encouraging everyone to light their houses or businesses with purple lights or purple decorations to spread awareness about domestic violence. Purple ribbons are being made for people to wear to show their support to domestic violence victims and survivors.”

Also, the public is asked on October 25, 2018 to wear purple that day in support of domestic violence victims, survivors, and those who may encounter domestic violence in the future. They are also encouraging everyone to take pictures of wearing purple on October 25 and to send in pictures to jstanleymeigscountyprosecutor.com.

In 2017 Meigs County had 120 reports/criminal cases of domestic violence. Many of these cases happened in homes with children present. A child’s exposure to domestic violence is the strongest risk factor of transmitting violent behavior from one generation to the next. Boys who witness domestic violence are twice as likely to become abusers as adults.

Developing a Safety Plan
What if you are in a violent relationship? A violent relationship puts you and your children at risk for injury even death. Developing a safety plan will help provide for your safety and the safety of your children.

Stay safe if you are in a violent relationship
• When an argument occurs, go to a safe room
• Try to have a phone available at all times
• Create a code word or sign that can be used to alert family and friends that you need help.
Use this safety plan if you are preparing to leave a violent relationship. Have a packed bag ready with the following items:
• Copies of keys to house and vehicle
• Money and debit/credit cards. Open a savings account or get a credit card, if you can do so in secret.
• Important papers, such as Social Security Cards, Birth Certificates for you and your children
• Keep this bag hidden in your home or leave this bag with friends, family, or at work if possible.

Learn how to stay safe after you leave a violent relationship.
• Change your phone number
• Change your routine
• If your abuser comes to your home, you do not have to let him or her in. Keep the doors closed and locked and call the police.

Throughout the month of October, there will be articles on the Meigs Independent Press about Domestic Violence.