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Goodbye, domestic violence

October 31, 2013

 

ALLISON EAST
News Editor

 

EAST

EAST

She was my best friend.

 

I didn’t understand why my parents didn’t like for me to spend the night with her, and I didn’t think twice when my mom had to take care of her mom after fights. They were just fights. Everyone’s parents fight.

 

It took me until my junior year of college to connect the dots and realize that my best friend since kindergarten was one of the estimated 3.3 million children who are exposed to domestic violence each year.

 

Domestic violence they’re dirty words. Not only is it a horrible tragedy that affects millions of Americans and causes thousands of deaths each year, but we don’t talk about. They’re words that victims can’t say and the public doesn’t want to hear. But domestic violence is there.

 

The Domestic Abuse Resistance Team in Ruston placed a record 31 silhouettes on the side of Trenton Street to commemorate community residents who have died from domestic violence since 2000.

 

And those are just the ones who have been reported. Domestic violence is real. Every nine seconds a woman is battered in the United States. Nearly one in three American women experience domestic violence in their lifetime.

 

These facts, coming from United Way’s Partnership Against Domestic Violence, are shocking, unheard and unacceptable. But with budget cuts geared toward shelters, centers and prevention organizations, who knows how they will change.

 

In January, funding for family violence prevention and intervention was cut $998,413, a 16 percent reduction in total dollars through contracts the state holds with domestic violence programs.

 

In March, Gov. Bobby Jindal proposed an additional $1.4 million dollars budget cut to these programs.

 

Less money for these organizations means fewer beds in their shelters, and fewer beds mean more women at home. At their homes, with their partners, to continue living the nightmare that is domestic violence.

 

It’s time for us to speak out. We have to get the word out about domestic violence, and let abusers know it’s not okay to hit and let victims know they have a way out. We have to let the state know it’s an important cause, and we have to help in any way we can.

 

Allison East is a senior journalism and history major from Vicksburg who serves as news editor for The Tech Talk. Email comments to ace007@latech.edu.

 

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