(Update: Adding police, Saving Grace comments)
There is a need for more resources for victims of domestic and sexual abuse in Central Oregon.
October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month, recognized across the country in an effort to bring more awareness and resources to individuals who suffer from abusive relationships and sexual violence.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 1 in 4 women and nearly 1 in 10 men have experienced contact sexual violence, physical violence, and/or stalking by an intimate partner during their lifetime and reported some form of intimate partner violence-related impact.
The CDC also notes that over 43 million women and 38 million men experienced psychological aggression by an intimate partner in their lifetime.
The state of Oregon is striving to meet the needs of those suffering from abuse.
The Oregon Department of Human Services reports in 2018, its crisis emergency helpline responded to a total of 1,976 calls relating to domestic violence in Deschutes County, Crook and Jefferson County. It also reported 43 calls for stalking and 205 calls for sexual assault in Deschutes, Crook and Jefferson counties.
Learn more about the issue and how to get help at the Oregon Coalition against Domestic and Sexual Violence website.
Saving Grace, an organization that provides domestic violence and sexual assault services in Central Oregon said there is a higher demand for victim resources with the growing population in Central Oregon.
” Frankly, as we are seeing the population in Central Oregon grow, our numbers here are only growing, ” said Cassie Macqueen , executive director of Saving Grace. ” So we are seeing tens of thousands of hotline calls every year, and we provide services to thousands of Central Oregonians, depending on what they need and where they are at in their process. ”
The Bend Police Department said when dealing with domestic cases, they assess the situation and try to find a quick resolution, but the goal is to keep families together. when possible.
” When we respond to these situations people are elevated in their emotion, ” said Lt. Clint Burleigh. ” De-escalation is the most important thing we can do in a domestic violence situation. To de-escalate the situation, start with and find out what happened. Again, safety is the No. 1 thing. Working and trying to help these families work through a difficult situation, that is a big deal as well. ”
Burleigh encourages families to contact police when dealing with domestic and sexual abuse incidents.