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Nationally, October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. The intent of the designation is to encourage and support efforts to bring an end to widespread domestic violence, mainly against women and children.
Locally, we've had plenty of sorry reminders that such an effort needs to accelerate in Utah. Consider these recent local headlines:
"Woman Admits to Killing Stepdaughter"
"Husband Arrested for Murder in Hit-and-Run"
"Man Sentenced in Drowning Death of Girlfriend"
"Apparent Murder-Suicide Stuns Neighbors"
Each case is a glaringly horrific and despicable example of the scourge of domestic violence in contemporary society. The Utah Division of Child and Family Services estimates some 40,000 Utah women are physically assaulted each year by intimate partners. The number of children affected is staggering.
Clearly, domestic violence is an epidemic that demands more than mere awareness. It demands action!
Thoughtful government leadership at every level is essential to developing effective strategies for reversing the trend. Greater high-profile political attention would help. Agencies with expertise to make a difference must be provided adequate funding. Beyond government, though, churches, social organizations and even neighborhood groups can take steps to curb domestic violence within their spheres of influence.
Certainly, all in society need to be more keenly aware of this escalating plague, but actually doing something about it is what really matters.