CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – A security camera video went viral after capturing a woman passing a note to a cashier at a South Carolina supermarket asking for help. She was a victim of domestic violence.
It’s much more common than people may think and October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, which advocates say is so important because awareness can save lives.
Rahiza Gallardo of the Gándara Center told 22News, “Domestic violence can come in many ways, talking about physical abuse, emotional abuse and verbal abuse.”
One in four women and one in nine men experience domestic violence in their lifetime and it’s increased since the start of the pandemic. Domestic violence experts say now it can be even harder for people to leave their violent situations.
“Sometimes the fear is way bigger than their desires. It’s a very emotional situation it’s very stressful and they need people who can help them and support them during the process,” said Gallardo.
According to the Gándara Center, there are some signs that someone may be in a domestic violence situation. Those include not talking about their life at home, never engaging in activities outside of work or on lunch breaks, and triggered by loud noises or people arguing.
If you or someone you know is in an unsafe situation, there are a number of resources you can use. The national domestic violence hotline is available 24 hours a day. The YWCA of Western Massachusetts and Alianza, a women’s shelter also has a 24 hour hotline.
- National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-7233
- YWCA Western Massachusetts: 413-733-7100
- Alianza in Holyoke: 1-877-536-1628
The Gándara Center and Safe Passage in Northampton also offer services, and don’t forget if needed you can always call 911.