LAUREL, MS (WDAM) - Laurel Mayor Johnny McGee signed a proclamation declaring October as Domestic Violence Awareness Month.
The Proclamation states that "anyone can be a victim of domestic violence regardless of age, sex, ethnicity, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status or religion."
Laurel Police Department Victim Advocate Melicia Cooper said that they receive 20 – 25 calls a day regarding a domestic dispute. She said she believes the numbers are higher, but many don't call in due to shame.
"There is help," Cooper said. "They do not have to feel ashamed. They can call the Laurel Police Department. They can call the 1-800-HOTLINE. And if they don't want to tell their name, they don't have to"
The document was signed as a decree to kick-start their annual National Night Out Against Crime October 3, 2017 at 5 p.m. According to the Laurel Police Department website, the event "began as an effort to promote involvement in crime prevention activities, police-community partnerships, neighborhood camaraderie and send a message to criminals letting them know that neighborhoods are organized and fighting back". The event is held annually on the first Tuesday of October.