October observed as Domestic Violence Awareness Month

Warning: Parts of this article are graphically detailed.

“Domestic violence is real,” said Kim Ford, clinical supervisor at Family Recovery Center. And it was learned recently following a murder-suicide that domestic violence may be between partners but has very real affects on the community.

Ford shared some true events. “One of our clients came in a couple of weeks ago all scratched and bruised and with choke marks on her neck. We sent her to Cristina House. She stayed there almost two weeks and then went back to her abuser.

“One of our residents at Fleming House has a restraining order against a man we all know to be violent and we have posted his photo inside of Fleming House so that no one unwittingly allows him to enter.”

As serious as these things are, it can get worse, and everyone knows that the cycle of violence just gets worse as time goes on. Ford continued to share.

A few years ago in Canton, a teacher left her husband took their two children with her. She filed for divorce. The man had visitation with the children. After having them for an overnight, he was supposed to drop them off at his ex-in-laws’ house.

About 6:30 a.m. he drove to the ex-in-laws’ home, walked in, shot his ex-mother-in-law, got back in the car. He drove to his ex-wife’s house where he tried to gain entry by pouring gasoline on the door and unsuccessfully attempting to set it on fire. The ex-wife’s boyfriend was inside and chased him away. He got into his car, where the two children were still in their car seats, slit their throats and rode around for three hours in his car while they bled to death in the backseat. When he returned to his home, he was apprehended by authorities who had been looking for him.

“Women often stay with abusers because they have no money, no housing, no idea how to get out. The man is their meal ticket. Often these women have been abused by men since their early childhood and have seen their mothers abused. Many of the women say the abuse is their own fault’If I hadn’t been running my mouth, he never would have hit me.’”

Cristina House, an emergency shelter for battered women, provides services including state housing for survivors of domestic violence, education presentations and training for interested groups, crisis call assistance and referrals to other resources to aid victims of domestic violence in Columbiana, Mahoning and Trumbull counties. The shelter provided help to 100 people, including 48 children, last year, according to Catholic Charities, the parent agency for Cristina House.

Some warning signs of domestic violence from your partner include name calling, dictating how you should dress or wear your hair, hurtfully teasing or hurting you in public or private, wants to know who you are talking to on the phone, is jealous of attention your receive from family, friends or coworkers, checks up on you-where you are, what you are doing, who you are talking to? Your partner may accuse you of being interested in someone else. Your partner may accompany you or send someone to keep an eye on you or perhaps that partner threatens to kill you or himself if you leave.

Family Recovery Center programming includes Sanctuary for Change to help women in recovery lead healthy lives. The agency also has a offender’s treatment group, ROAR (Recovery Over Abusive Relationships), as well as working with Ozer Ministries with John and Daryl Hersch, domestic violence counselors who have a trauma based private practice. The domestic cycle can be broken.

FRC promotes the well being of individuals, families and communities with education, prevention and treatment programs for substance abuse and related mental health issues. For more information, contact the agency at 964 N. Market St., Lisbon; phone, 330-424-1468 or e-mail, info@familyrecovery.org.