Lynne A. Valenti
Cabinet Secretary

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October 6, 2008

Gov. Rounds declares October as Domestic Violence Awareness Month

PIERRE, S.D. To help shed light on an issue that impacts families across the state, Gov. Mike Rounds has declared October as Domestic Violence Awareness Month in South Dakota.

“Raising awareness allows communities to support domestic violence survivors and their families, and to support the agencies that provide services to survivors throughout the year,” said Gov. Rounds. “Together, we can work to break the cycle and prevent domestic violence.”

The South Dakota Department of Social Services, in conjunction with non-profit partner agencies across the state, works to provide education, counseling and shelter services to victims of domestic violence and abuse.

“We are working to keep South Dakota families strong and safe every day,” said Deb Bowman, Secretary of the Department of Social Services. “Domestic Violence Awareness Month is another way to help us reach out and educate the public to recognize and respond to domestic violence and abuse.”

The number of domestic violence cases in South Dakota grew to 11,016 in 2007 – an increase of more than 2,000 cases from the previous year. According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, one in four women in the United States will experience domestic violence in her lifetime.

The South Dakota Domestic Abuse Program funds shelters for victims of abuse. Shelter programs offer a wide range of services, including a 24-hour crisis line, transportation, immediate and safe shelter, food, clothing, counseling and information, and referrals to other services the victim may need.

The first Domestic Violence Awareness Month was held in October 1987, the same year the first national toll-free hotline was created. In 1989, Congress passed the first Domestic Violence Awareness Month commemorative legislation. National, statewide, and community-based domestic violence prevention and victim service organizations around the country mark this month with recognition ceremonies, memorial activities, public education campaigns, community outreach events, news conferences and more.

To find out how you can get involved and help families or victims in your area, contact your local Department of Social Services office or call one of the hotline numbers listed below.

Listing of DSS Offices:
Find Your Local Office

Domestic Abuse Hotline Numbers:
South Dakota Domestic Abuse Hotline: 1-800-430-SAFE
National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-SAFE
Hearing Impaired: 1-800-787-3224