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October 6, 2009

Gov. Rounds declares October as Domestic Violence Awareness Month
Department of Social Services offers support services to victims of abuse


PIERRE, S.D. Gov. Mike Rounds has declared October as Domestic Violence Awareness Month in South Dakota, in support of the campaign against domestic violence and abuse.

“We must continue working together to prevent domestic violence and protect victims and their families,” Gov. Rounds said. “By learning more about the causes and signs of abuse, we can help prevent it.”

According to the National Network to End Domestic Violence, more than 2.3 million people in the United States are physically assaulted by a current or former spouse, boyfriend or girlfriend each year. In 2008, non-profit victim service agencies reported 11,441 victims of domestic violence in South Dakota.

“Domestic violence affects thousands South Dakotans, regardless of age, education, or race,” said Deb Bowman, Secretary of the Department of Social Services. “It’s important that individuals understand that abuse in any form is not acceptable, and victims need to know where to go for help.”

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

Congress passed the first Domestic Violence Awareness Month commemorative legislation in 1989. National, statewide, and community-based domestic violence prevention and victim service organizations mark this month with recognition ceremonies, memorial activities, public education campaigns and community outreach events.

For more information or to learn how to get involved in the campaign against domestic violence, contact  a local Department of Social Services office or call one of the hotline numbers listed below.

Local DSS offices: http://dss.sd.gov/offices

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

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View the Governor’s Executive Proclamation.