Those providing resources locally to domestic violence victims told NewsChannel 6 there was a 25 to 30 percent increase in victims in the 10 county region. Safe Homes saw 1600 victims last year. But not everyone reports.
“It becomes more escalated to the point that it does lead to death,” said Aimee Hall, Safe Homes Executive Director. She stressed how domestic violence can become fatal as she and others in the community spend the month bringing awareness to the very serious issue.
“Phase one is the tension building,” she started. “That’s where the mind games are starting. That’s maybe where the isolation is beginning or the name calling. There may be yelling and screaming at that time. But then it escalates to phase two and that’s where your slapping begins where it becomes more dangerous, more threats.”
Hall said after the verbal and physical abuse comes the promise that it will never happen again. But it does. And despite being a victim, knowing when to leave and how to leave an abusive situation is important. Hall also said it’s a decision built on safety, finances and whether children are involved. Getting out though is not always easy.
“If he’s making phone calls or coming by, have people that you trust around you that will document the times that he’s showing up, the times that they’re calling work, the times that he’s riding by the house,” she said. “Yes cell phones. Use your camera. Text messages, screen shot those and save copies of those because all of that is just showing how that perpetrator is violating that temporary protection order.”
There are two opportunities to learn more about domestic violence this week. Safe Homes is having its Survivors Walk on Thursday, October 25 from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. at Augusta University Summerville’s Teardrop.
A second event is a community forum on Monday, October 22 at 5:30 p.m. at the Augusta-Richmond County Library.