ADA — As the prevalence of domestic violence continues to increase, various organizations across the country have united in their efforts to increase public awareness of domestic violence and its effects on society. Since October was designated as National Domestic Violence Awareness Month by the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence in 1981, organizations at local, state and national levels have hosted activities in honor of victims who have lost their lives as a result of domestic violence, and in honor of survivors and those who are working to end domestic violence.

During the month of October, the Family Crisis Center will be working with CIRCAW and its partners, Chickasaw Nation Office on Violence Prevention, East Central University, CLEET, and the district attorney’s office to promote public awareness of domestic violence issues.

On Oct. 14, from 9 a.m. until noon ECU will host table events in which information regarding domestic violence will be distributed. On. Oct. 22, starting at 2 p.m., ECU will host “Adopt an Awareness Tree” on the ECU lawn. The trees will be decorated with purple ribbons and placards in honor of victims who lost their lives due to domestic violence.

A Remembrance and Celebration Vigil will take place at ECU on Oct. 29 at 3 p.m. During this event, participants will light candles in remembrance of casualties due to domestic violence and in celebration those who have survived. ECU students will sing at the event. Among others, Tasha Bond, domestic violence survivor and former Mrs. Oklahoma, will speak about her experience with domestic violence. The event is open to the public.

Those attending are asked to show their support by wearing purple on Oct. 15, which is National Wear Purple Day in honor of women who lost their lives as a result of domestic violence. The Family Crisis Center will be distributing information about domestic violence at different locations in the community. Information will be available at Ada Public Library and there will also be a booth outside the entrance of Wal-Mart from 10-11 a.m. Oct. 18 throughout the month of October, silhouettes representing local domestic violence victims who lost their lives will be displayed in front of the Family Crisis Center office located at 605 E. 12th.

Sponsors of the event say domestic violence has become a problem of epidemic proportions in America. According to statistics, almost four million women were physically abused by a husband or partner in the last year. Statistics also indicate an average of three women per day are murdered by their husband or boyfriend. Oklahoma currently ranks fourth in the nation for the number of females murdered by males. Domestic violence is one of the most critical public health issues facing women and children today. Family violence costs the nation $5-10 billion each year in expenses related to health care, law enforcement and the loss of productivity in the workplace. It affects people of all races, cultures, and religions, regardless of their economic status or where they live. Domestic violence has a devastating effect on children. Children who witness domestic violence often suffer behavioral problems and many of them grow up and inflict violence on others, creating a cycle that must be stopped.

More information about what can be done to help break the cycle of violence can be obtained at any of this month’s events. The Family Crisis Center is available to assist victims of domestic violence. The agency offers counseling, referrals and emergency shelter services for victims. The Family Crisis Center also works to combat domestic violence by offering a Men’s Re-education Program for batterers.

Those in need of assistance may phone the Family Crisis Center at 580-436-3504.