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The best kept family secret: domestic violence

October is Domestic Violence Awareness month and just within the last year, Mississippi has seen at least 27 domestic violence homicides and domestic violence affects the entire family.

“Statistics show that boys who are raised in a home where there is domestic violence are twice as likely to become abusers if they don’t get help and girls who are raised in a home where they witness domestic violence are normally going to accept unhealthy abuse in relationships,” said Dell Hatch, Domestic Violence Prevention Coordinator of Families First for Mississippi.

Hatch added that many people do not tell others about the abuse within their home.

“A lot of times it is a family secret,” said Hatch. We don’t tell anybody because maybe the kids and the wife, because women are 85% more likely to be the victims, men can be victims as well, but it’s a family secret and the whole family becomes isolated and that’s another form of abuse, isolating the people involved away from neighbors and friends and they just don’t talk about it.”

Hatch added that admitting abuse is often the most difficult thing for victims to admit.

“Admitting that it exists, and then that we are not powerless to stop it, to slow it down, to help families, we are not powerless,” said Hatch. “We are trying to empower women that they are not powerless, to help them think that they can do something about the situation so that they are not stuck.”

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