GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB)-- October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month and local organizations are providing resources to help people out of abusive relationships.
“It’s better to be alive than to be trapped in a situation where they could be harmed and not have the type of life that they deserve to have,” said Alachua County Sheriff Sadie Darnell.
Darnell wants to remind Alachua County residents that anyone can reach out to them to help them out of domestic violence relationships.
“We do an assessment,” Darnell said. “It’s called a lethality assessment. It is evidence-based and is based on a series of 11 questions and the deputy can have a good, robust discussion from the standpoint on how lethal the situation is.”
Detective Robert Campbell works on domestic abuse cases and enjoys helping people out of a toxic environment.
“It’s a difficult subject to tackle but I do enjoy when I hear a success story of a survivor getting out of a situation that is potentially lethal for them and them being able to separate themselves, their children and basically start over,” Campbell said.
A local non-profit organization called Women Working with Women gives women an opportunity to start a new life after domestic abuse.
“We are here to empower women and give them the substantiated information that they need to be better parents, better daughters, better wives, better friends in this world,” said Belinda Smith, president and CEO of Women Working with Women.
The organization will host a table talk on October 14 for domestic violence survivors and those who are currently in one to talk about their experiences and to provide resources for them.
“It’s open to all women whether you are going through it or whether you overcame it,” Smith said. “We do stress if you are one of those overcomers to join the group because what you’ve gone through can help someone else."
The organization is also looking for donations to build a facility to help women transition to a life without domestic abuse.
Here are events Peaceful Paths, which is a local domestic violence shelter, will host this month:
Power of the Purse Luncheon | Thursday, October 3 at the Gainesville Women’s Club from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Domestic Violence Vigil & Clothesline Project Exhibit | Monday, October 7 from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. at The Historic Thomas Center
Fall Pop-Up Thrift Store | Wednesday, October 30 through Friday, November 1 at the Peaceful Paths Outreach Center at 2100 NW 53rd Avenue in Gainesville from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
The Pop-Up Thrift Store features new and gently used items and 100% of the proceeds go to the client assistance programs.