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October 15--  During "Domestic Violence Awareness Month," the Refuge Domestic Violence Shelter believes you can do something to stop the violence.  It is sponsoring a showing of the movie "Sin by Silence" Monday night, October 22, at seven o'clock at the Calvary on Aimwell Church in Vidalia and invites you to attend.

Betty Dell Williams, Executive Director of The Refuge, provides insights into the scope of the domestic violence problem.

"October is designated as Domestic Violence Awareness Month. There are many facts about domestic violence of which most people are unaware. Did you know that 1 out of every 5 victims of domestic violence (DV) will not report the crime? An estimated 1.3 million women will experience DV in their lifetime.

"Did you know that children from violent homes suffer from many problems such as depression, fear, anxiety and loss of hope for the future? They may also suffer from social isolation and aggression and they may have difficulty making friends. Many also have physical ailments, and trouble in school due to violence or delinquency.

"These children many times continue to suffer these problems as adults. This is why it is so crucial that these children receive help at an early age. Witnessing violence between one’s parents is the strongest risk factor for becoming an abuser as an adult. Boys who witness abuse are twice as likely to abuse their own partners or children when they become adults.

"In this day and age, it is easier than ever for an abuser to control their victim through the use of current technology. An abuser can use technology such as cell phones, e-mail, texting and online social networks to control, monitor, or harass victims. They may use cell phones to send an excessive number of messages, calls or pages to the victim or to monitor the victim’s whereabouts or activities.

"They may also coerce the victim into “sexting” and check the phone regularly for information. Social networking sites, such as Facebook, may also be used by the posting of inappropriate information or threats of using the site to humiliate or degrade the victim. This is yet another reason that we must continue the fight against domestic violence. No one deserves to be treated in this manner.

"We must not allow any kind of abuse to go un-checked and we must all be on our guard and alert to the signs of domestic violence and sexual assault in our community. To better help you do that, The Refuge has designed a presentation which we will present, free of charge, to your place of employment, or to your civic or religious group. It is not only informative, but is very interesting as well.

"Our community has unfortunately been severely affected by domestic violence and has even seen two deaths from it in recent years. By working together, being educated and reaching out, we can help stop the violence and let those affected know there is help and many re-sources dedicated to making them free from abuse.

"As you are enjoying the month of October, please take a moment to remember the many victims of domestic violence and consider partnering with us by scheduling a Refuge presentation for your group.

"As always, we will continue the fight by offering aid and assistance to all domestic violence victims. Please call us at 912-538-9936. God bless you all."