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Coalition sponsors awareness conference

By Staff
Melissa Cason
Franklin County Times
October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, which is a time that the Franklin County Domestic Violence Response Coalition devotes to raising awareness to violence in the home.
Joey Rushing, coalition co-chair, said he sees the impact of domestic violence in his role as district attorney and how different cultures deal with abuse in different ways.
"I can definitely say the abuse is more prevalent in the Hispanic culture because it's all they know, and many of them don't have anywhere else to go," Rushing said.
But it's not just a problem that exists in one culture, it's everywhere. Statistics show that a woman is beaten by her partner every 15 minutes in the United States, and one in three women will experience some kind of physical abuse from their partner – that's four million women a year.
Locally, the law enforcement community is constantly being called out on domestic violence calls.
Russellville Police Chief Chris Hargett said his department completed over 80 reports involving domestic violence between January and August.
The number from the Franklin County Sheriff's Department is in the hundreds.
According to Safeplace, Inc., a local abuse shelter for women and men, the goal behind the abuse is to gain absolute power and control.
In an effort to educate the public about dealing with domestic violence, the Colbert and Lauderdale County Domestic Violence Response Coalitions will host a "Violence Is Preventable" conference about domestic violence on Oct. 22.
Heath Haddock, of Safeplace, Inc., said the conference will include two breakout sessions on domestic violence and will focus on how to deal with domestic violence in the community.
"The conference is open to law enforcement, attorneys, social workers, nurses, clergy and counselors to help them have a better understanding of domestic violence," Haddock said. "The conference will also serve as continuing education hours for those who need hours."
The cost of the conference is $40 for general admission; $50 for attorneys, which includes ethics training; and $30 for students. The cost includes continuing education credits and a three-course meal prepared by Shoals Marriott chef Ryan Matthews. The deadline to register is Oct. 15. For more information, call Peggy Franklin at 332-5322.
For more information on domestic violence, visit www.nwalsafeplace.org.

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