By Kristin Bednarski
October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and in Clermont County, the YWCA has several events planned to help educate residents and honor victims.
Kate Lawson, director of the YWCA of Greater Cincinnati Eastern Area, said they are using the events, and the month of October, to reach out to community members about domestic violence.
“The way we try to do that is really involve every level of our community, from survivors to service providers,” Lawson said.
Lawson said they are trying to reach out in ways that target residents already involved and also residents who may not know what services are available.
She said they will be hosting several events this month to raise awareness.
Events include a day of remembrance at Clermont County Domestic Relations Court from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Oct. 11, a domestic violence awareness event at Walmart in Eastgate from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Oct. 21 and a panel discussion about domestic violence at University of Cincinnati Clermont College from 3:30-5 p.m. Oct. 24.
Lawson said they wanted to host a domestic violence awareness event to reach out and grab the attention of community may not know about the prevalence of domestic violence or about the services available for victims. She said the panel discussion at UC Clermont will feature several speakers including Clermont County Domestic Relations Court Judge Kathleen Rodenberg.
“We felt that having an event at UC Clermont is reaching another generation of younger folks,” Lawson said.
In addition, Lawson said Clermont County commissioners will be proclaiming October as Domestic Violence Awareness Month during their Oct. 17 meeting.
She said the Clermont County Sheriff’s Office will also be displaying purple ribbons on patrol vehicles and helping spread the message about domestic violence throughout the month.
“The more we are visible about our concern about domestic violence in the community, and the more we raise our voices together, the closer we step to ending domestic violence in the community,” Lawson said.
The YWCA provides several services for domestic violence victims in Clermont County including a crisis hotline, which is (513) 753-7281 or 1-800-540-4764, a shelter for victims and programs to help victims get back on their feet.
Lawson said in 2011, the YWCA received 6,565 calls on their crisis hotline and the YWCA House of Peace sheltered 200 women and children. In addition, she said more than 41 women and children participated in their transitional living program that year.
“We have a lot of information online,” Lawson said. “But I would encourage people to stop by any time to talk about our services. We’re doing a lot here for survivors.”
Lawson said residents can find information about all of their services on their website which can be found at www.ywcacincinnati.org, by stopping in their Batavia office located at 55 South 4th Street.