Southwest Georgia women mark Domestic Violence Awareness Month
One out of every four women in the U.S. has been â" or will be â" a victim of violence within the home, either at the hands of a husband or boyfriend or a father, stepfather, or other family member.
Captain James Sexton of the Dougherty County Police Department told us that family violence calls are an almost daily occurrence for but he urges all victims to report abuse.
"In order for them to get the assistance they need, they need to report it," said Sexton.
One of those organizations offering help is Liberty House, a battered women's shelter and crisis center, with a simple goal.
"We can have a safe community, free from violence and that families feel safe in their homes," said Silke Deeley of Liberty House.
Deeley and volunteers from Darton College marked the first day of Domestic Violence Month by planting a field of flags at Albany Mall.
The flags are more than just reminders of domestic violence. The purple flags represent the over 1400 calls the crisis center has received since last September. The white flags represent the 63 deaths in the state of Georgia related to domestic violence.
Liberty House offers more than just shelter â" they provide advocacy, advice, and financial assistance for women who often feel trapped in a violent home.
Erica Graham is a survivor of domestic abuse and encourages other victims to take that first step.
"Just call," said Graham. "You know, just make that call if it's nothing but just talk, you know, and just to get the kind of information as far as what kind of help is available."
"You need someone to tell you that you don't deserve this, that you deserve better, and sometimes it takes that outside person to be like, this is not normal," added Katalina Valdez of Liberty House.