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Officials Urge Victims To Speak Out During Domestic Violence Awareness...

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and local law enforcement and community service groups are encouraging people to speak out about the problem.

“Pinellas County ranks fifth in the state of Florida for the number of domestic violence cases last year and Hillsborough County ranks fourth this year, so this area does have a high concentration,” according to Lariana Forsythe, CEO of Community Action Stops Abuse.

The Pinellas County organization trains advocates who work with people in domestic violence situations, helping victims overcome the barriers that keep them from moving forward with a healthy life.

“So many times victims in abusive situations, they are embarrassed. They feel like it’s their fault, that they have done something wrong, because as a society we really do victim blame and victim shame, without understanding the complexities that exist in that kind of relationships,” said Forsythe.

Though some people believe that only men can be perpetrators, women can also be abusers. Forsythe also points out that domestic violence is also not limited to one group of people, which makes it important for everyone to recognize the signs of abuse in a relationship.

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