Area organization brings awareness to domestic violence; How to seek help

DAYTON — October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month and there are organizations in the Miami Valley are looking to help.

Artemis Center, located in downtown Dayton, offers resources to survivors of domestic violence.

Jane Keiffer, executive director of Artemis, said the rate of domestic violence has spiked.

There has been over a 40 percent increase reported between 2020-2021, as the nation dealt with the pandemic and quarantine.

In our coverage area nine people were killed last year during domestic violence incidents, according to the Ohio Domestic Violence Network.

Keiffer said a lot of Artemis’ work is making sure survivors who leave their abusers are safe.

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“Sometimes the survivor just needs to get back home with their parents, and maybe we can put them on a Greyhound and help them get there. Sometimes it might just be a gas card because they want to follow through with the criminal charges. So what can we do to help increase their safety in that in that immediate situation?” Keiffer said.

The United Nations defines domestic violence as “a pattern of behavior in any relationship that is used to gain or maintain power and control over an intimate partner.”

The abuse is not limited to just physical harm, Keiffer explained. It can be in the form of emotional, mental, spiritual, sexual, financial and isolating the victim from those around them.

“Domestic violence doesn’t start out looking like domestic violence, people aren’t being assaulted,” she said.

Keiffer suggests looking up the person through public records online.

“What kind of history do they have? We know the best predictor of future behavior is past behavior,” she said.

More information can be found on Artemis’ website or if you are in need of immediate help the National Domestic Violence Hotline can be called at 800-799-7233 or you can text START to 88788.

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