The Fairfax County Police Department joins other community partners in observing October as Domestic Violence Awareness Month. The commemorative month began in 1989 to recognize and remember those that have been impacted by domestic violence as well as those who have stepped in to help end it.
In 2013, the police department received over 11,000 domestic violence calls for service; an average of 928 per month. There were over 1,600 assaults on family members and 293 violations of protective orders. Over 1,900 people were arrested for offenses relating to domestic violence.*
The Police Department is helping to raise community awareness in a number of ways. For the first time, police vehicles, along with fleets from the Fire Department and Sheriff’s Office, will display purple ribbon magnets as a symbol of remembrance and support.
Police personnel from the agencies’ Victim Services Unit are hosting the 8th Annual K-9 Krawl; a free 5K Walk held at the Government Center on Saturday, October 18 at 8:30 a.m. Walkers are encouraged to bring their canine companions to show support for victims of domestic violence. The event was created to highlight the link between domestic violence and the link to animal cruelty. According to the National Resource Center on Domestic Violence, “The relationship that battered women and their children feel towards their pets complicates their willingness to leave a violent situation; if they do this would potentially put the lives of their pets at risk. Various studies show that approximately 20-48% of women have refused to leave their abusive situation because of their pet. Experts estimate that between 48-71% of domestic violence victims also have pets that have been abused or killed by their abusive partner. 70% of women in violent homes report that they have animals that are at risk of being abused as well. Abusive partners use the relationship that their victims have with their pets as a way to control and manipulate—victim’s often believe that the threat to harm their pet is likely to occur if they leave or don’t do what they are being told to by the abuser.”
Register for the walk at https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/FCPD2014K9KRAWL.
Other events and important informational workshops are being offered throughout the month. The Police Department urges residents to learn more about domestic violence. Help yourself. Help your community. Learn more about workshops and resource fairs at the Fairfax County Office for Women at http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/ofw/events/. Additionally, a comprehensive calendar of domestic violence awareness month events across the County is available at www.fairfaxdvcommunity.org.
*This data, and more, is available in the Domestic Violence Prevention, Policy & Coordinating Council, 2013 Annual Report found at www.fairfaxcounty.gov/domesticviolence.