Domestic Violence: An Issue Common in the Community

Organization and Police Working Together to Offer Resources

SIOUX FALLS, S.D.-  Almost everyone knows someone in their life, who’s been affected by domestic violence and a Sioux Falls organization is using October to shine a light on the issue, that law enforcement says is one of the most dangerous to investigate.

“I’ll hurt you, I’ll hurt the children, or I’ll kill your family. Those are the threats that victims are hearing sometimes,” says Children’s Inn Operations Director Amy Carter.

In the 9 years that Amy Carter has worked at Children’s Inn, she’s heard terrifying stories from those facing physical and verbal abuse. So far this year, Sioux Falls police have dealt with 950 cases of domestic violence.

“Domestic violence calls still remain one of our more dangerous calls to go into,” says Sioux Falls Police Department Captain Loren McManus. “Just because we don’t know what the dynamics of the relationships are, what the players have been involved in, and what we are walking into,”

In 2016, law enforcement responded to nearly 14 hundred domestic assault calls and 613 protection order violations and in 2015, 44 percent of murders in the state were a result of domestic violence. However, Carter says the number of victims is probably larger than what’s actually reported.

“There’s a lot of victims who suffer in silence, they don’t necessarily think that there’s help out there,” says Carter.

Women are not the only ones affected, Carter says 1 in 7 men will also be abused along with children. She says her hope is that more people will speak up.

“Domestic violence is not something that you have to live with. It isn’t your fault,” says Carter.

Although there’s still work to do, she says partnerships with law enforcement have helped hold people accountable.

“We have had a much more reporting rate since we have had better education,” says McManus. “Victims realize what the crime is and that we can actually help them out,”

As officials shine light on the topic in October, they want people to realize what’s going on in the community.

“If we continue to work together as a community, we can really make progress and hopefully put an end to domestic violence at some point,” says Carter.

The children’s Inn is hosting a ‘Take Back the Night’ event Thursday night as part of Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Florida resident and survivor Audrey Mabrey will share her story. The event will take place at Augustana University Elmen Center starting at 6 p.m. The organization also has resources and a shelter for those in need, you can check out their website: http://www.chssd.org/ChildrensInn/

 

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