Domestic Violence Awareness Month brings attention to widespread issue

“All it takes for evil to succeed is for good people to do nothing.” – Edward Burk

One in three women in Texas will experience domestic violence in her lifetime, according to the Texas Council on Family Violence. October is the month for Domestic Violence Awareness as purple is displayed in hopes of bringing awareness to a far too common problem.

“People want to say it’s not my business and I am not going to get involved, but we have to stop that. If we want to see a change, everyone wants it to go away and it not be true, but we can’t stop it if it is not addressed,” said Ginger Johnson, Community Educator and Bilingual Advocate for Wise Hope.

The Wise Hope Crisis Center, located at 1123 Highway 59 North in Bowie, opened its doors in April to help victims of domestic violence and sexual assault in Montague County.

“We hit the ground running. With a new office, I anticipated trying to get the word out to everyone that we were here, but that hasn’t been the case,” said Johnson. “It is very pleasing to me because living here in Bowie I knew there was a need. You just have to read the newspaper and talk to people to know it’s there.”

Wise Hope has served the Jack and Montague County areas in the past but advocates were only able to be in the area one day a week. A grant from the region out of Wichita Falls changed all that, allowing Wise Hope to place an office in both Jack and Montague counties, giving them the ability to better serve those communities.

Not only does it operate the two offices, but also the main Outreach Office in Decatur, a thrift store and a 15-bed shelter in Bridgeport. The shelter is not just for victims in Wise County, but for victims in all the communities, and if a victim needs to get to safety quickly, a cot can always be pulled out.

The dual agency helps not only domestic violence victims, but sexual assault victims as well. It operates a 24-hour crisis hotline at 940-626-4855. No appointment is necessary for immediate face-to-face crisis intervention and advocacy services.

Read the full story in the weekend News.