October is perhaps the most cause-heavy time of the year.
While breast cancer awareness and drug prevention are certainly important topics to remember and provide assistance, it is crucial to also recognize that this month marks National Domestic Violence Awareness Month.
Millions of men and women will suffer physical and mental abuse from their partners or loved ones each year. It’s an issue that affects people regardless of race, religion, status, or origin, and while many locations don’t have the resources needed to combat domestic violence, Polk County does.
Our House continues to provide temporary shelter, temporary protective orders, legal advocacy, support group references, referral services, and many other services for those in need. The group’s 24-hour crisis line – 770-749-9330 — ensures help is always available, and between July 2010 and June 2015, Our House received approximately 1,358 crisis calls and sheltered 377 women and 271 children.
The group’s legal advocate, who locals can schedule an appointment with by calling 770-748-6633, aided 353 victims in obtaining temporary and permanent protective orders during that same time span.
The shelter stays open in part thanks to the contributions of locals, and with the arrival of Domestic Violence Awareness Month, Polk citizens have new opportunities to give back and help end the cycle.
The group is hosting its annual charity golf tournament, a four-man scrabble, on Oct. 18 at Cherokee Golf Club. Those interested in team information or sponsoring a hole can call 770-748-2300. More information about the club can be found by visiting https://www.facebook.com/CherokeeGolfClubCedartownGA/.
On Oct. 25, the group is hosting a candle light vigil in the court yard of Cedartown’s Court House #2 at 7 p.m. The event is focused on both remembering the victims of domestic violence and honoring those who’ve survived their abuse.
There’s also the day-long #PaintPolkPurple event on Oct. 28. Citizens are being asked to post a picture of themselves wearing their best purple on a social media of their choice with the hashtag #paintpolkpurple.
Purple is the official color of National Domestic Violence Awareness Month, so those who can’t participate in any of the events can still help out simply by wearing the color.
Our House was organized in 1995 by a group of women who found the growing number of domestic violence incidents in Polk disturbing. The team grew to over 50 volunteers before establishing a 24-hour crisis line, and the financial support of Polk citizens, as well as various state agencies, helped pave the way for Our House to be officially named a “safe house” by the Department of Human Services.
A life of fear and abuse is not the norm, and those in need are urged to contact the shelter.