October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and the Dallas Police Department wants its citizens to know that anyone can intervene and help save someone’s life.
“Don’t be afraid to get involved. Don’t be afraid to ask questions of someone that you think possibly may be a victim of domestic violence,” said Lt. Pollyanna Ashford, who oversees the Domestic Violence Unit of the Dallas Police Department. “You never know - you may be giving that person the door, just open the door, so they can talk with you.”
Family violence incidents are up in Dallas since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, according to Lt. Ashford.
A recent report to Dallas City councilmembers showed that domestic aggravated assaults are up 8.6% through late September compared to 2019.
One of the primary concerns for domestic violence survivors is that they can often be financially dependent upon their abuser, Lt. Ashford said. As a result, they will stay in an unsafe situation because they value the roof over their head, and perhaps the heads of their children, more than they do their own safety.
Getting access to resources like domestic violence shelters – many of which can be found here – is often the key first step toward getting abuse survivors to opt for help.