Next month is national Domestic Violence Awareness Month.
Law enforcement officials, state agencies and domestic abuse advocates in one Florida community in particular are well aware of that designation, with their county having an especially high number of family-related violence episodes occurring over the past year.
That locale is Ocala/Marion County, about five hours north of Miami. Authorities there point to a domestic violence rate that is more than 50 percent higher than the state average. They point to a combination of factors that drive that rate.
One of those is the comparatively low income of many county residents. Studies show that money problems are often at the core of domestic violence matters, given that tough economic times understandably increase tensions and frustrations within many families.
Another reason relates to lower education levels, which curtail job opportunities and upward socioeconomic movement.
Still another factor is an overall lack of community support for those who need it. Again, a dearth of money strongly affects this, with services being greatly curtailed by crimped county and state budgets, as well as fewer volunteer donations.
Official statistics indicate that about one in every 170 state residents is a victim of domestic violence. In Ocala/Marion County, that figure is one of every 111, a much higher rate.
The director of one Ocala violence center says that , if anything, the stated figure is greatly understated, given that many violence cases are never reported to authorities.
Those most closely involved with providing counseling, shelter, legal and job assistance to domestic violence victims hope earnestly for an improved economy that broadly benefits people. That outcome will bring in more money for necessary resources, as well as provide more opportunity to persons affected by domestic abuse.
Source: Ocala.com, “A violence crisis,” Sept. 16, 2012
- Domestic violence is often a complex matter deeply connected to a number of family law issues. Our firm has considerable experience in this area, advocating for our clients with diligence and compassion. For more information about our practice and qualifications, please visit our Miami, Florida, Domestic Violence page.