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  • Writer's pictureBill Raines

Hoosier Uplands grant to bring Awareness for Domestic Violence Victims in Lawrence County

LAWRENCE COUNTY - OCOTBER 27, 2022 - Hoosier Uplands has donated $48,000 to help bring awareness for victims of domestic violence.

The money will be used to post electronic signage for the community awareness campaign. A total of four billboards will used with donation for the first month, and the donation from Hoosier Uplands will fund two of the billboards, or one larger billboard for three additional months.

Joe Diebert Lawrence County Probation speaks to the Lawrence County Council about the latest Domestic Violence Grant of $48,000

According to Joe Diebert, manager of Lawrence County Probation Department tells the county council that the legal system does good in helping the perpetrator of domestic violence.

However, according to recent surveys the county has done a horrible job of helping the victims of domestic violence. From law enforcement who are normally the first to interact with a domestic violence victim, and throughout the legal process in our court system.

" We need to be doing something better. We have left the victim out to dry," In Lawrence County we are good at throwing money at a problem, but in the end, we find no real solutions to those problems,"

" This is a real black eye on our Judicial system in how we are doing in regard to domestic violence," Diebert exclaimed.

The Domestic Violence Problem Solving Court have been successful in helping offenders and now the problem-solving courts are incorporating the victims into the program. The victims of domestic violence are now being included in the process.

The Domestic Violence Problem Solving Court was developed about 13 years ago, which is the only one in the State of Indiana following the CDC study.

In 2021, Domestic Violence was 33 percent of the crimes reported to the Lawrence County Prosecutor's office.

In 2020, Indiana observed a concerning increase in the number of domestic violence cases. In a report compiled by the Domestic Violence Network found that domestic violence deaths spiked last year with a 100 percent increase.

In the report shows that 40 percent of women and 27 percent of men are affected by domestic violence, outlining the issue disproportionately impacts women.

The Domestic Violence Coalition goals is trying to tackle the normalcy of domestic violence, acceptance of it, with a culture that believes that domestic violence is just norma. Diebert sayd the culture needs to change especially with the faith-based community who has also accpeted domestic violence as normal behavior.

Many do not want to even talk about domestic violence which keeps the issue hid and no one left to hold individuals accountable.

The survey was designed to put the experiences and perspectives of domestic violence victims first.

Domestic violence itself encompasses much more than the actual abuse of an individual. The traumatic experiences can have a lasting psychological and emotional impact that can be addressed through positive life changes, therapy, emotional support and access to community resources.

The victims of domestic violence have trouble locating resources and agencies that will be able to assist them following domestic violence issues. The local coalition have been working with 211 in getting all the information in one location.

The Hoosier Uplands have donated approximately $14,800 to address domestic violence issues in the county.

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