THE BLADE/JETTA FRASER
Tables stocked with pamphlets describing relationship “red flags” and poster boards detailing protection-order information greeted participants in the first forum held by a group aimed at promoting public awareness of domestic violence.
OBJECTThe Domestic Violence Community Awareness Project — made up of advocates, law enforcement, and members of government and nonprofit agencies — organized its first forum Friday at the Sanger branch of the Toledo-Lucas County Public Library. The forum focused on reaching victims, their families, and friends.
The awareness project formed in November as an outgrowth of the Lucas County Domestic Violence Task Force, said Lynn Jacquot, director of the YWCA Battered Women’s Shelter. It is a response to a growing understanding for the need for greater community awareness, she said.
“We also want to educate the community to be a part of the solution,” Ms. Jacquot said.
The event included a presentation by a police detective and advocates, including sharing warning signs that can indicate a person may become violent toward his or her partner. The signs include attempts to control clothing choices or who the partner sees, cruelty to animals, and unrealistic expectations.
Ms. Jacquot said advocates want to reach victims earlier, hold abusers accountable, and make it as easy as possible for people to find and use the services.
More than 30 people, including representatives of the various participating organizations, attended the event. The group plans to hold similar forums in other neighborhoods. The event offered the chance for participants to meet one on one with advocates and others who offer support.
“We are here to make sure that the community knows that we are behind them, and we grieve with you. And, we want you to also know that we have resources available to family, friends, and coworkers of those that have lost a loved one or been in a domestic violence situation,” Toledo police Detective Mary Jo Jaggers told those in attendance.
Carol Perry of Toledo attends a domestic violence support group through Project Genesis. She came to the forum and believes additional awareness events should take place at least once every six months, especially in the inner city. “We need help,” she said. “People just take for granted what we go through.”
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