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No one should have to live in fear

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By The Staff

The numbers aren't looking good.

Last year, victims' advocate Heather Barnes investigated 215 domestic violence complaints. This year, she has already investigated 296 ... and that's only through the end of September.

There were 273 days from January through September, which means that there has been more than one a day.

Like we said, the numbers aren't looking good.

And that's sad.

October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month, a time when officials try their best to get the word out that it doesn't have to be this way.

And it doesn't. All we have to do is stop the cycle.

The cycle of violence is simply the transferring of violent behavior from one generation to another. When those in a generation grow up seeing violence as part of their everyday lives, then by the time they're adults it has become second nature. They, in turn, pass that behavior onto their children.

Domestic abuse is not limited to one socio-economic class, or one generation, or one race, or even one community. Abuse can be found among those both rich and poor, black and white, rural and urban, young and old, educated and not.

And domestic violence isn't just physical assault, though a visible injury or mark such as a black eye is what others more often notice. Emotional and psychological abuse is often just as bad as physical abuse.

Barnes is also concerned about what she believes are increasing numbers of abuse cases. She worries that some people don't know how to get help. And with the recent state of the economy, she's concerned that the added stress could make things worse.

That's what this month is all about - awareness.

Awareness of this problem and what we can do to stop it.

No one should have to live in fear of violence.