Domestic Violence Awareness Month proclamation by City of Cullman

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Pictured, L-R: Emily Ray, Mayor Jacobs, Jonna Wimburn (Contributed)

On Wednesday, September 28, 2022, Mayor Woody Jacobs officially proclaimed the month of October 2022 Domestic Violence Awareness Month (DVAM) in the City of Cullman. On hand to accept the proclamation from Victim Services of Cullman, Inc. (VSOC) were Jonna Wimburn, Prevention Educator, and Emily Ray, Court Advocate and SAIL (Special Assessment Intervention and Liaison) Specialist. 

National Domestic Violence Awareness Month has been recognized each October since 1987 as a way to connect and unite individuals and organizers working on domestic violence issues and to raise awareness of these issues. The theme of this year’s event is “We Stand Against Domestic Violence.” 

Domestic violence affects more than 10 million people in the United States each year. It is the single most common source of injury to survivors – more common than automobile accidents, muggings, and rape by a stranger combined. Domestic violence can affect anyone regardless of economic, racial, gender, educational, religious, or societal status. Domestic violence violates a person’s privacy, dignity, security, and humanity through a pattern of abusive behavior intended to control and dominate another person. That abusive behavior can be physical, sexual, emotional, verbal, social, economic, psychological, or spiritual. 

U.S. domestic violence hotlines receive around 20,000 calls each day from domestic violence victims. These victims are in need of things like emergency shelter, housing, counseling, transportation, childcare, legal representation and more. 

Victim Services of Cullman, Inc., (VSOC) provides crisis response, recovery, and prevention programs for families impacted by domestic and sexual violence. VSOC was established in 1991 to help victims of domestic violence. In 1996, they began also providing services to victims of sexual assault. Their mission is to “break the cycle of family violence and sexual assault, preventing future acts of abuse through education, outreach and empowering the survivors through support and advocacy.” 

“We appreciate Victim Services and other individuals and organizations in our community that work to help victims of domestic violence,” said Mayor Jacobs. “And the City of Cullman does stand against domestic violence!” 

To find out more about Victim Services of Cullman, Inc., visit www.victimservices.online or call the administrative office at 256-775-2600. 

If you are in a domestic violence situation, call the VSOC 24-Hour Crisis Line at 256-734-6100 or the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233). 

The proclamation issued by Mayor Jacobs reads as follows: 

WHEREAS, domestic violence is a national health problem affecting approximately 10 million people in the United States each year, making it the single most common source of injury to survivors – more common than automobile accidents, muggings, and rape by a stranger combined; and, 

WHEREAS, domestic violence crosses all economic, racial, gender, educational, religious, and societal barriers – violating a person’s privacy, dignity, security, and humanity through a pattern of abusive behavior to control and dominate, causing victims to fear for their safety and wellbeing. Abusive behavior can be physical, sexual, emotional, verbal, social, economic, psychological, or spiritual; and, 

WHEREAS, in the state of Alabama, 37.5% of women and 29.5% of men experience intimate partner physical violence, intimate partner sexual violence, and/or intimate partner stalking in their lifetimes –and in 4% of those domestic violence offenses a firearm was used; and,  

WHEREAS, domestic violence can have long-term damaging effects on victims and their families – including the over 3 million children nationwide who are exposed to domestic violence each year. And leaving a domestic violence situation is not easy and is often dangerous – 75% of women victims are seriously injured when they leave or try to leave an abusive relationship; and, 

WHEREAS, in the U.S., domestic violence hotlines receive around 20,000 calls each day. Victims deserve compassion, comfort, healing and access to medical and legal services, counseling, transitional housing, and other services to escape the cycle of abuse and to hold their perpetrators accountable; and, 

WHEREAS, requests for services such as emergency shelter, housing, transportation, childcare, and legal representation often cannot be provided because programs lack the resources to meet victims’ needs. The need for safe houses remains survivors’ most urgent need; and, 

WHEREAS, domestic violence can be prevented through the collective voice and power of individuals, families, institutions, and systems working together toward this common goal. The City of Cullman supports this goal and joins with communities and organizations across the state and nation in proclaiming that “We Stand Against Domestic Violence.” 

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Woody Jacobs, as Mayor of the City of Cullman and on behalf of the Cullman City Council and our citizens, do hereby proclaim the month of October 2022 DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AWARENESS MONTH in Cullman and encourage our citizens to honor domestic violence survivors; remember those who died as a result of domestic violence; help raise awareness of the prevalence and impact of domestic violence in our community; support local organizations that provide domestic violence crisis response, recovery, and prevention services; and join with us in helping to end domestic violence in our community!