October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month in the state of Texas and throughout the nation. Although the month is almost over, Domestic Violence Awareness Month still symbolizes a national initiative to commemorate the lives of women who died as a result of family violence and draws attention to the thousands of victims of domestic violence every year, as well as to recognize the numerous services available to victims of domestic violence. More than one in five women are at risk for injury from domestic violence during their lives, and nearly one in 10 risk severe injury. An estimated one-third of the murders of women in the United States are committed by a spouse or a partner. “McCulloch County has many services available locally to victims of domestic violence,” said McCulloch County Attorney Ginger Treadwell. “Victims of family and dating violence are entitled to the maximum protection from harm or abuse or the threat of harm or abuse as is permitted by law. “I can help victims of domestic and/or dating violence to obtain a protective order. A protective order is a civil court order issued to prevent continuing acts of family and/or dating violence. Violations of this order are punishable by fine or imprisonment or both,” added Mrs. Treadwell. “My office can also help victims of violence, which results in a bodily injury, obtain compensation from the Office of the Attorney General for lost wages and medical expenses.” A positive feature for McCulloch County, a Batterer’s Prevention and Intervention Program has been established and according to Mrs. Treadwell, a class meets twice yearly. Each class can accommodate up to 15 participants (male and female). A new position that was recently created in the County Attorney’s office that is funded 100 percent by a state grant has Barbara Hodges working full time as the victim assistance coordinator. The position, one that is required by all counties, provides a public liasion who serves as a friend, confidant and helping hand in the walk through the judicial system. “I deal mainly with cases that involve personal injury,” said Mrs. Hodges. “What I do is basically help people and their families wade through the legal mess that is created in many of these cases.” For more information about the Batterer’s Prevention and Intervention Program or to obtain specific instructions on times and locations, contact the McCulloch County attorney’s office at 597-0733, ext. 3. Since April, the Haven, McCulloch County’s shelter for victims of domestic violence, has been able to assist 51 people through their residential and non-residential services. “The Board of Directors, staff and volunteers would like to take this opportunity to thank our generous community supporters who have helped to lay the foundation for this project with such success,” said Lee Broad with the Haven. “It is our sincerest desire that everyone know how much we appreciate the instinctive response of the people of Brady to jump in and help when a need is voiced. “Even though we remain as obscure as possible in the community for the sake of client confidentiality, we rely upon donations from the community to supplement our grand funding,” she said. The Haven has received monetary donations, building supplies, office supplies, physical labor and numerous volunteer hours spent manning the 24-hour hotline. For more information about the Haven and the services it provides, call their hotline at 597-7644. The following poem, provided by the Family Violence Task Force, was submitted by Mary Wittmer. The poem addresses family violence and the difficulties associated with breaking free from the abuse cycle. I got flowers today. It wasn’t my birthday or any other special day. Last night we had a fight and he hit me, But I know he is sorry, Cause I got flowers today. It wasn’t our anniversary or any other special day. Last night he threw me against the wall and started to choke me, But I know he’s sorry, Cause I got flowers today I got flowers today. It wasn’t Mother’s Day or any other special day. I was so swollen and bruised I was ashamed to answer the door. But I know he’s sorry, Cause I got flowers today. If I leave him, where will I go’ What about money’ What about my kids’ It’s getting worse every time. But I’m afraid to leave, But I know he’s sorry, Cause I got flowers today. I got flowers today. My family and friends filed by to see me, Asking why I never left him. If I only had the strength and courage to, but I didn’t, So I got flowers today.