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October 26--  There have been 84 domestic violence deaths in Georgia during the past 12 months and supporters of the local Refuge Domestic Violence Shelter are trying to get the word out to women living with abusers that help is available in Toombs County.

refugeballoonsThe shelter observed Domestic Violence Awareness Month by releasing 84 purple balloons in the sky above Vidalia and by dropping purple flowers into the pond at Southeastern Tech.

Major Roger Callaway with the Vidalia Police Department is the board chairman for "The Refuge, "What we're seeing a lot of times when you've got these kind of cases, it deals with finances, it deals with substance abuse, but it starts off real subtle.  It starts off where they just argue a little bit, then somebody gets slapped and then next thing you know somebody gets hurt or killed."

Chief Assistant District Attorney Tripp Fitzner has tried two domestic violence murders in Toombs County, "If anything good possibly could come out of the deaths of these two women, let it be to get their message out there and let it inspire other people to leave their abusive spouses and to get help."

Betty Dell Williams is the Executive Director at "The Refuge, "Let's think about those 84, but let's think about the victims and survivors we have in Vidalia that we have alive.  Let's help them, support them and believe them.  That's the one message I want to get out to people.  If someone comes to you and says they're in domestic violence, believe them and see what you can do to help.  Refer them to "The Refuge" and let's see if we can get them a safety plan and a life free of domestic violence."


If you need help, call 912-538-9935.