HPD raises awareness for domestic violence

HPD raises awareness for domestic violence
Photo credit: WDAM
Photo credit: WDAM
Photo credit: WDAM

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - Domestic violence can occur anywhere, in neighborhoods, in families and even in local communities.

On average, 20 people per minute are physically abused by a partner, equating to more than 10 million men and women a year.

October kicks off Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and Hattiesburg Police are urging people in the community to do their part to raise awareness.

Of the Hattiesburg's seven homicides in 2016, roughly 70 percent have been domestic related.

"The homicides we have had this year, majority of them have been domestic related, which right now this is leading into the domestic violence month," Hattiesburg Police Lt. Jon Traxler said.

Hattiesburg Police offered a variety of assets for the Hub City that can help in a domestic violence situation.

"There is a domestic abuse hotline people can call, they can also contact here at the police department, we have victims advocates that are here at the station, they have contact information that they can be reached 24 hours a day 7 days a week, we also have two detectives that do nothing but domestic violence type cases, both misdemeanor and felony," Traxler said.

Traxler added that domestic violence situations are one of the most dangerous because so many factors and heated tempers can come into play.

"At the drop of a dime, it can change from just an argument to you know what… she don't want to see him go to jail, or he don't want to see her go to jail or whatever and it could change so dramatically, so quickly," Traxler said.

The department trains multiple times a year specifically for responding and defusing a domestic-related situation.

Traxler said the department works closely with local domestic abuse shelters and the city to help anyone in need and to raise awareness.

Hattiesburg police will kick off the month with "It may hurt to walk away" 5K run and 1 mile fun walk to raise money for domestic violence this Saturday.

Pre-registration is $20 and on-site registration is $25, and the race starts at 8 a.m. at Town Square Park in downtown Hattiesburg.

Online registration forms can be found here.