Los Alamos Police Department public information officer Cmdr. Preston Ballew issued the following news release Wednesday afternoon on behalf of LAPD’s victims’ advocate.
Did you know how domestic violence affects families with young children? Family matters have always been observed as private issues. What happens in the home of another is not the business of those that are not affiliated with the family inside. If the family matters are heard from outside, or if injuries are seen, it’s easy to dismiss any knowledge of the violence we see or hear because it’s not happening to us. Society has determined people that are on the receiving end of violence somehow deserve this treatment. Another technique that society uses to excuse the violence is accusing victims of lying. If it is that bad, why are they staying, and why are they not calling out for help?
In conjunction with the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, the Los Alamos Domestic Violence Task Force looks forward to bringing awareness to Domestic Violence Awareness Month this October by showing support of the #SurvivorSpeaks movement. We are also painting the “Rock” in White Rock on Oct. 16 from noon to 1 pm to show our support with victims and survivors. Join us, we’ll have paint and brushes. Here’s a story that was shared to explain the “why’s” society asks.
“My name is Hope, and I am a survivor. I came from a loving family of seven. My goal in life was to have the same type of loving family that I was raised in. I met my significant other while at a coffee shop. He was charming and perfect. Before long I was in love. He was a sociable person, a devout patron of the church, and a good man to everyone -except eventually me. My goals I’d had as a child were now a childish dream. I didn’t want this, but I was forced to stay. I got pregnant and was encouraged to marry him. I tried to speak up for myself but was silenced. Silenced by my family, my church, and by him. How could a good man be capable of this violence? Nobody could see it because he was careful. My wedding day was a nightmare. I wasn’t happy. I was terrified. I was alone with nobody to support my desire to leave.
“My daughter was raised with the sounds of screams and beatings. She was five years old when we got saved. She had been in school and shared a bit of information with a friend. I will never forget that day. The friend she’d shared our story with had told her parents. The parents talked with someone at the school. When I dropped my daughter off at school, on that fateful day, I was approached by the school counselor. I thought this was related to my daughter, but little did I know that the counselor was there for both of us. I had no idea that there were people in the community, that would help someone like me. I wasn’t judged for staying. I was provided safety, medical help, and transitional assistance I needed to provide for myself and my daughter. My journey was not easy. My abuser was a good man, but he did things that would make him unrecognizable to the community. Freedom is the most beautiful thing that you can have in life. I am forever grateful to have mine.”#SurvivorSpeaks
The Los Alamos Police Department is proactive in bringing recognition to October’s Domestic Violence Awareness Month. With the joint efforts of the Domestic Violence Task Force, local service agencies, and neighboring community service agencies, victims that come forward can get the necessary assistance they need without having to make a report to a law enforcement officer. If you ever need help or would like to know where to find help for another person, these are the resources that can be utilized to begin the healing process.
The Los Alamos Domestic Violence Task Force was founded in effort to assist the community affected by domestic violence by the collaboration of multi-agency support. Members of the task force are both professional workers and civilians that meet monthly, on the third Tuesday at 12 noon, at Smith’s in LosAlamos in the conference room. Anyone interested in the joining the task force is welcome. The task force goals are to educate, empower, and remove barriers.
- Los Alamos Police Department Victim Assistant (505) 663-3511
- New Mexico Crime Victims Reparation Commission (505) 841-9432
- Los Alamos County Social Services (505) 662-8068
- Self Help Inc. (505) 662-4666
- LA Cares Food Bank (505) 661-8015
- NM Income Support (800) 283-4465
- Youth and Family Resource Advocate (505) 670-8153
- First Born Program (505) 661-4810
- Family Strengths Network (505) 662-4515
- Hope Pregnancy (505) 662-2300
- Crisis Center of Northern NM (505) 753-1656
- Esperanza Shelter (800) 473-5220
- Community Against Violence (888) 758-8082
- National Domestic Violence Hotline (800) 799-7233
- National Sexual Assault Hotline (800) 656-4673
- NM Crisis and Access Line (855) 662-7474
Sexual Assault Services:
- Solace Crisis Treatment Center (800) 721-7273
- Sexual Assault Nurses Examination (505) 989-5952
- NM Coalition of Sexual Assault Programs (888) 883-8020