Since over 4,500 people were affected by domestic violence in 2016 in Alabama alone, Jessica Childs, a criminal justice lecturer, encouraged everyone to raise awareness and be aware of the signs of domestic violence.
A domestic violence symposium was held in honor of October being Domestic Violence Awareness month.
“We’re trying to promote awareness for (domestic violence) and give some safety tips and warning signs, because there are so many people that deal with this issue,” Childs said.
“Numbers are high,” Childs continued, “Out of the 25,188 violent offenses in Alabama in 2016, 18 percent were domestic violence incidents.
“Forty-three were homicides, and that’s just the ones they were able to rule with evidence as domestic violence homicides.”
According to Childs, domestic violence makes up for 298 rapes, 95 robberies, and 4,225 aggravated assaults in Alabama.
“Abuse is very prevalent here (in the United Sates), more than people would think because it’s behind closed doors and many don’t notice the signs,” said Cydney Sanders, a junior criminal justice major from Peshtigo, Wisconsin.
“Some of the warning signs of an abusive relationship are things like isolation, problems with or obsessing over control, anger issues, extreme jealousy, verbal or physical abuse towards the victim and placing blame on the victim,” said Childs.
Criminal justice classes will have presentations set up with tips, statistics and further details about domestic violence at the symposium.
“We’re trying to raise awareness about domestic violence in those around us,” said Sam Jeffery, a junior criminal justice major from Daphne.
“There’s more than 3 million reports of child abuse each year in the United States,” said Sanders.
Alpha Phi Sigma, a criminal justice honor society, and many students in criminal justice classes will be wearing stickers which say “Ask me why I care” or black eye stickers provided by the iCare campaign to show their support.
“People need to know that (domestic violence) can happen to anybody,” Childs said. “Be aware of those warning signs and recognize if you or someone you know is in an abusive relationship.
“Victims often feel trapped in these situations, but there’s a lot of help, and they shouldn’t feel alone or hopeless.”
Counseling services are free for Troy students, and appointments can be made at 334-670-3700.