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October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month in Georgia

It has been 25 years since the federal Violence Against Women Act was introduced in the U.S. Congress. It was, at the time, a controversial piece of legislation, and it took four years after introduction before President Bill Clinton signed it into law. The law is intended to help provide resources to victims of domestic violence, and in its nearly quarter-century of existence it has helped to raise awareness of the potential costs of violence within familial and domestic relationships.

Unfortunately, according to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, the problem has not gone away. Approximately 10 million people every year, or almost 20 a minute, are physically abused by a romantic partner in the U.S. That also means that a third of all women in the nation, and a quarter of men, have been subjected to some form of domestic abuse.

Atlanta-area entrepreneur and activist Alma G. Davis is a former victim of such a relationship. She has formed a foundation that is meant to create an environment that will allow victims of domestic violence to get the help they may need to begin getting on with a life without violence. She and others in the Atlanta area, including performance artists, are participating in Domestic Violence Awareness Month activities to try to bring more focus to the terrible price some people pay for choosing the wrong intimate partners.

One important thing for Georgia residents to realize is that anyone in a domestic violence situation has options. There are organizations and shelters that can help physically separate victims from their abusers, and certain legal procedures, such as restraining and protective orders, that can place abusers on notice that further violence will not be acceptable, and that their actions will have consequences.

Source: wabe.org, "Atlanta Activist Helps Abuse Victims Become Survivors ' WABE 90.1 FM," Shelby Lin Erdman, Oct. 6, 2015

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