The Starke County Commissioners are slated to sign a resolution proclaiming October as Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and according to case manager Annette Ohman for the Coalition Against Domestic Abuse and the Phoenix House program, that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
“We have proclamations that are going to be signed by the Starke County Commissioners and the mayor of Knox this month, declaring October Domestic Violence Awareness Month in Starke County and the city of Knox. Then, we also have exhibits at all five of the Starke County libraries regarding domestic violence awareness. Some involve the effects of domestic violence on children, whether they’re witnessing the abuse in the home or actually being abused,” said Ohman.
The libraries also feature information on domestic violence and various exhibits, including the “clothesline project,” which Ohman explained is an art therapy project involving victims of domestic violence who draw, paint or write on t-shirts to hang on clotheslines, speaking about the issue of domestic violence in a “very vivid and touching exhibit,” according to Ohman. Other exhibits are also featured.
Ohman said these exhibits are just a few of many ways the Coalition Against Domestic Abuse helps to promote awareness of domestic violence. She said they also offer speaking engagements for any organization and emphasized that a variety of services are available.
“October is just the month that really targets the awareness aspect,” said Ohman. “Throughout the year, our organization – which is mostly volunteer-run, we have two part-time employees but the rest is volunteer-run – and so our organization started out just as an awareness and education organization, so we go to all the fairs and festivals and have information booths there, just to get the word out about what services are available.”
Emergency shelters, advocacy programs, legal advocates, counseling – Ohman said many different programs are offered to provide help for people in domestic violence situations. For more information, call CADA at (574) 772-3331 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.