Mississippi domestic violence shelters are seeing an increase in calls through the recession. Now there's more information for victims to protect themselves.

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Domestic Violence Calls on the Rise, Now More Resources for Victims

By Daniel Cherry | Published 26 Sep 2011 05:23pm | comments

Nearly one in four women will experience domestic violence in their lifetime. MPB's Daniel Cherry reports how a new effort by the state is meant to simplify the process for a victim to protect themselves from an abuser.

Domestic abuse victims can suffer physical, sexual, and mental attacks from their partner. A woman who wishes not to be named says she endured violence for nearly all of the 25 years she was married. She says it took her a while, but she finally got the courage to leave.

"There's shelters. If I had known that there were places that could help, I would have done something long ago and not had my children in that situation."

Now she says she has a lot of work ahead of her to repair relationships with family and her children. Sandy Middleton, Executive Director for the Mississippi Center for Violence Prevention says the impact on children often follows them for the rest of their lives.

"Obviously it affects not only their school work but their ability to excel and their ability to be the best people they can be. When they grow up the cycle of violence continues because they've grown up in it, they think it's permissible, and the cycle of violence continues."

A young boy witnessing violence at home is twice as likely to abuse their partner as an adult. The Mississippi Attorney General's Office has created a resource guide to teach an abused person how to use the legal system. Attorney General Jim Hood says getting the process started is often an uphill battle for a victim.

"This is a very confusing process for victims of domestic violence. Many of them don't really know the difference between going to get a warrant to arrest the guy who beat them up versus this protective order which is a civil type proceeding. If they don't even know the difference, they certainly don't know which court that they should go to for different type orders."

Centers for abuse victims are blaming the down economy and increased stress for a recent spike in calls to their shelters.




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