By India Wagner, NCCU Reporter
October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month and organizations in Durham are working to bring awareness and assistance to people living in this situation.
N.C. Central University’s School of Law hosted a discussion on expectations in civil and criminal cases related to domestic violence on October 8th.
The program, “Going to Court for Domestic Violence,” educated participants on what legal matters to take when dealing with domestic violence.
The panel included Attorneys Ralph Frasier, Stephanie Robinson, Monica Burnette, and NCCU Professor Deria Hayes.
“I grew up in a domestic violence home,” said Tia Sanders, an NCCU freshman. “It’s more serious and spread out than most know.”
Sanders participated in the program as a request from her professor, but hoped to gain more than class credit.
“I want to learn more about it and be more educated,” said Sanders.
The program was a part of a series of events the law school will be hosting, including another domestic violence awareness event on October 22.
That event, Dating Violence on College Campuses, is a part of the NCCU Women’s Center’s celebration of Domestic Violence Awareness Month this October.
According to the Domestic Violence Resource Center, one in four women has experienced domestic violence in her lifetime.
“I think that domestic violence is a crime that’s less reported because it is seen as a family issue rather than a criminal activity,” said Alma Davis.
Davis is the director of shelter services at the Durham Crisis Center. It is the only agency in Durham with a shelter.
“Domestic violence hurts everyone,” said Davis. “It could hurt the family, the children, and neighbors.”
The DVRC stated that in a national survey, 50 percent of the men who frequently assault their wives also frequently abused their children.
The crisis center has 18 beds, and in just the last year, the center was home to over 150 women and children.
The center also provides resources, support groups, and legal counseling for free to whomever needs them. They also have a 24-hour crisis line to call.
The panel also stressed the importance of domestic violence protection orders, which many men and women petition for in domestic violence situations.
Yet, they also reminded participants of resources like the Durham Crisis Center for those who did not want to go the legal route.
Statistics say that people attempt to leave at least nine times before pursuing legal action.
Davis believes is important for the community to be involved in fighting domestic violence by educating themselves and supporting her agency.
“We would like people to be aware and support our agency,” said Davis.
Dating Violence on College Campuses will be on October 22, 2013 at the Albert Turner Law Building on Alston Avenue at 6 p.m. It is free and open to the public.