Millions of families are affected by domestic violence each year. To raise awareness about this issue and to rally advocates and resources, every year October is designated as Domestic Violence Awareness month.
On Friday, October 6th, Laurel Mayor Johnny Magee held a proclamation signing at City Hall to reaffirm the city’s commitment to the cause. During the proclamation signing, many area agencies came together to acknowledge the serious and wide-spread nature of this issue.
A blood drive in honor of domestic violence awareness month will be held in the parking lot of the Laurel Police Department on Friday, October 20th from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
The Shafer Center and the Domestic Abuse Family Shelter (DAFS) both provide services to individuals struggling with situations involving domestic violence. DAFS serves Forrest, Lamar, Marion, Jones, Covington, Wayne, Greene, Perry, Jasper, Smith, and Jefferson Davis counites and provides a 24-hour crisis line, temporary shelter for victims and their pets, information, referrals, advocacy, victim and survivor counseling, educational groups, aftercare case management, public education and community awareness. They offer their services in both English and Spanish.
Residents and organizations who are interested in helping support these services can provide monetary support via the DAFS website at http://dafs.ms or by providing home goods and cleaning supplies to the local shelter by contacting their team at 601.915.3237.
The proclamation read as follows:
Whereas, Anyone can be a victim of domestic violence regardless of age, sex, ethnicity, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status or religion, and
Whereas, Every day, three women lose their lives in this country as a result of domestic violence and millions of Americans live in daily, silent fear within their own homes; and
Whereas, Children who witness domestic violence often grow up believing that physical cruelty in relationships is acceptable behavior, and thus they tend to perpetuate a cycle of violence in society; and
Whereas, Domestic violence costs the nation billions of dollars annually in medical expenses, police and court costs, shelters, foster care, sick leave, absenteeism, and non-productivity; and
Whereas, Our efforts must extend beyond the criminal justice system to include housing and economic advocacy for survivors. We must also reach out to friends and loved ones who suffered from domestic violence, and we must tell them they are not alone; and
Whereas, We must continue to hold domestic abusers accountable, punish them to the full extent of the law and prevent them from inflicting more abuse; and
Whereas, Victims Service Providers are joining forces with victim service programs, criminal justice officials, and concerned citizens throughout the City of Laurel, Jones County, Mississippi to speak out against domestic violence and support local efforts to assist victims of these crimes in finding the help and healing as we raise awareness of victims’ rights and observe National Domestic Violence Awareness Month;
Whereas, This October, we can honor National Domestic Violence Awareness Month by promoting peace in our own families, homes, and communities and renewing our commitment to end Domestic Violence—in every city, every town, and every corner of America.
Now, therefore, I, Johnny Magee, Mayor of the City of Laurel, do hereby proclaim the month of October 2023 as National Domestic Violence Month and reaffirm the commitment of Laurel, Jones County, Mississippi, to respect and enforce victims’ rights and address their needs during National Domestic Violence Awareness Month and throughout the year; and express our appreciation for those victims and crime survivors who have turned personal tragedy into a motivating force to improve our response to victims of crime and build a more just community.