October 7, 2005 – Posted at 5:45 p.m. CDT
JONESBORO, AR -- Already this year, there has been 17 confirmed domestic violence homicides in the state of Arkansas. Nation wide, more than 4 million women are assaulted every year, and it's a number that is too high. October is domestic violence awareness month.
During the first six months of 2005, more than 2200 women and nearly 1,000 children were victims of domestic violence in Arkansas.
“Domestic violence is a consistent pattern of behavior where one partner in the relationship exerts power and control over his or her partner,” said Lesley Graham.
Graham helps women who have been victims of domestic violence. A Violence Prevention educator for the Women's Crisis Center of Northeast Arkansas, Graham has seen it all.
“It crosses all boundaries. Like you said, it doesn't matter...race, age, socio-economic status. It crosses all those lines and we see women from all walks of life that are victims of domestic violence,” said Graham.
Often violence will begin with verbal and emotional abuse...the worst case scenarios can end in death.
“If he has extreme jealousy, isolation from family and friends. If he tries to keep you totally isolated from the outside world,” said Graham, “Of course if there is any type of physical abuse, verbal abuse and emotional abuse.”
Unfortunately 30% of all young women ages 15-19 that are murdered in this country are killed by an abusive husband or boyfriend, and police often say that it's a crime that many people don't take seriously.