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Governor Roy Cooper Declares October Domestic Violence Awareness Month In Wake of Hurricane Florence & Tropical Storm Michael More Work to Be Done to Keep Domestic Violence Resources Available During Natural Disasters

Raleigh, NC

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month in North Carolina, and Governor Roy Cooper has signed a proclamation encouraging people to raise awareness about domestic abuse, to foster safe and supportive communities, and to help survivors recover, heal, seek justice and thrive.

“Domestic violence destroys families and lives in communities across North Carolina,” said Governor Cooper. “Survivors of domestic violence need our help and support as they do the hard work to try to escape from abusive relationships and rebuild their lives.”

The N.C. Council for Women & Youth Involvement, a part of the Department of Administration, supports victims and survivors of domestic violence across North Carolina through its distribution of $14 million in state and federal funding to 105 domestic violence agencies. The Council also supports and funds prevention and intervention programs that aid in stopping the cycle of violence in communities.

Based on newly released statistics by the Council, domestic violence programs provided shelter to nearly 10,000 victims – 43% of which were children during the 2017-2018 fiscal year.

As a result of recent impacts from Hurricane Florence and Tropical Storm Michael, support for domestic violence resources is ever more critical. Due to the recent storms, several shelters across the state experienced structural damage, forcing clients to relocate to neighboring counties for services.

During this time of rebuilding, funding and every day essentials such as toiletries and cleaning supplies are needed to help restore and supply North Carolina shelters.  Volunteers are also crucial. In additional to providing services during natural disasters, volunteers play a critical role in helping survivors of domestic abuse heal. In nearly a years’ time, domestic violence agencies in North Carolina recorded over 300,000 hours worked by volunteers.

In regard to services, in just the past year alone, state funded domestic violence agencies reported an increase in the number of crisis calls answered and clients served. During the 2017-2018 fiscal year, programs responded to more than 112,000 crisis calls and provided services to more than 52,000 domestic violence survivors. In the previous fiscal year, 99,164 crisis calls were reported, and 51,074 clients were served.

“The services offered by local agencies across our state are often the lifelines for individuals and families when faced with domestic violence situations,” said N.C. Department of Administration Secretary Machelle Sanders.  “It’s crucial that services such as counseling, advocacy, and crisis hotlines remain readily available, especially in the aftermath of natural disasters such as Hurricane Florence.”

The State’s Domestic Violence Commission will meet on October 26 to continue work on strategic plans to ensure citizens across North Carolina have access to crisis services in their communities, especially during times of natural disasters. The Department monitors the delivery of services, processing the only county-level data on domestic violence and sexual assault client services in North Carolina.  The data is used by state agencies, nonprofits, researchers, grantees and policy makers.

For additional information, and a list of DV and SA services, visit the N.C. Council for Women and Youth Involvement’s Domestic Violence Program website.

 

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