SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month and many local businesses, schools and members of the community are taking a stand against domestic violence.
Nearly 12 million people a year are victims of domestic violence and in honor of raising awareness of the issue, Harmony House will host its eighth annual iCare event.
According to hotline.org, more than 1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men in the U.S. will experience rape, physical violence, and/or stalking by an intimate partner in their lifetimes.
People around the community will take part in the iCare event to support those affected by domestic violence.
You can wear a symbolic “black eye” sticker and a lapel pin that states “Ask me why iCare” to participate in the event.
Local businesses across the Ozarks will donate portions of their profits to support survivors of domestic violence.
For ADsmith Marketing & Advertising, employees held a chili cookoff Friday to raise funds.
Owner Angela Smith said almost everyone knows someone who has experienced domestic violence.
“If it’s not physically getting a black eye, it could be the emotional abuse that takes place,” said Smith.
Harmony House leaders said domestic violence continues to be an ongoing issue in the community.
“Unfortunately, our shelter has remained full all year long,” said Executive Director Jared Alexander. “You know, we may have a bed open once a week, once every ten days, but then it’s pretty rapidly filled.”
He encourages people to speak out.
“How we can start those conversations earlier, and prevent those instances from happening, is how we’re going to ultimately combat those numbers going up in our community,” said Alexander.
If you know anyone going through domestic abuse or if you are experiencing it yourself and would like someone to talk to, you can call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800- 799-7233.