Attorney General Pruitt, Law Enforcement, Advocates and Survivors Raise Awareness of Domestic Violence
October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month
OKLAHOMA CITY – Attorney General Scott Pruitt joined law enforcement, victim advocates and survivors Thursday to observe Domestic Violence Awareness Month in October.
“Last year in Oklahoma, there were more than 24,000 domestic violence calls to law enforcement. That is unacceptable,” Pruitt said. “It’s critical that we work to break the cycle of violence and assistant survivors and their families.”
To raise awareness, honor survivors and remember victims, several events were held Thursday.
· Wear Purple Day: Everyone is encouraged to wear purple to show support for victims and survivors of domestic violence.
· DVAM Excellence in Action Awards Presentation and Proclamation: A news conference was held in the Governor’s Blue Room at the State Capitol. Speakers and presenters included: General Pruitt; Michael Thompson, Oklahoma Secretary of Safety and Security; Sandra Harrison, chief administrative officer for the Oklahoma Department of Human Services; Marcia Smith, executive director of Oklahoma Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault (OCADVSA); Suzanne McClain Atwood, executive coordinator of the District Attorneys Council; Lesley March, chief, AG’s Victim Services Unit; and Richard Wu, District Manager, Verizon Wireless.
The 2012 Excellence in Action against Domestic Violence Award winners are:
- Law Enforcement Officer Award: Capt. Lori Chipps-Bray, McCurtain County Sheriff’s Office;
- Prosecutor Award: Meredith Stanton, assistant district attorney, Tulsa County;
- Victim Service Advocate Award: Sara Palmer, victim advocate, District Attorney’s Office, District 8, Newkirk;
- Victim Service Volunteer Award: Edith King, Safenet Services, Claremore.
· Evening Capitol Ceremony: The rally featured a ceremonial balloon release and music by the All Saints Catholic School Choir. The event is sponsored by the AG’s Office, the OCADVSA through Verizon Wireless and the YWCA.
· “Hands are not for Hurting” Poster Project: Each fall, children who receive services from certified domestic violence service providers are asked to create a poster depicting a specific theme. The posters are displayed throughout October at the Attorney General’s Office, 313 NE 21. The 8th Annual Poster Project is sponsored by the Attorney General’s Office, the Oklahoman Association of Chiefs of Police and the Oklahoma Sheriffs Association.
“Domestic violence affects families of all backgrounds and economic levels and in every community,” Pruitt said. “Many of these cases go unreported, so it is important that we get the word out about programs like VINE that help families and vulnerable Oklahomans find safety.”
Pruitt added that Oklahoma currently ranks 17th in the nation for the number of women killed by men.
For additional information about the AG’s Victim Services Unit, including the 2011 Domestic Violence Awareness Month resource kits, visit www.oag.ok.gov.
If you are in an abusive relationship or have been sexually assaulted, or if you know someone who needs help, please call the statewide 24-hour hotline at (800) 522-SAFE.
The mission of the Attorney General’s Victims Services Unit is to improve services for Oklahoma crime victims and families who have suffered injustice at the hands of an offender.
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PHOTO CUTLINE: Lesley March, chief, AG's Victim Services Unit and Attorney General Pruitt pose
with Capt. Lori Chipps Bray with the McCurtain County Sheriff's Office after Capt. Bray received
the 2012 Excellence in Action Law Enforcement Award.