October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month.
Domestic violence often goes unreported but law enforcement agencies respond to thousands of calls each year.
In Charlotte County, the sheriff’s office has a partnership to help with these kind of calls.
In the last year, more than 2,700 people called to report domestic violence to the Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office.
If you ask Chris Hall, the phone doesn’t ring nearly enough.
“It’s disheartening to be honest and what’s really frightening about this if I can be blunt is that domestic violence is one of the most underreported crimes that there are,” said Hall, community affairs specialist for the Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office.
In 2018, the agency formed the Domestic Violence Unit in partnership with the Center for Abuse and Rape Emergencies.
“When we talk about domestic violence it goes beyond the physical abuse,” Hall said. “We’re talking about emotional abuse, we’re talking about economic abuse, isolation, control, things of that nature. So there are resources available and you don’t have to call and say come arrest my husband or my wife.”
Many people who call second-guess their decision to pick up their phone. People who deal with domestic violence every day say calling is the right call.
“Whatever you’re going through you’re not alone,” Hall said. “You don’t have to be alone and that there are resources available and there are people who believe in you.”
Hall’s final message: Love should not hurt. If it does, that’s when you should know to call.
If you’re a victim of domestic violence, you can call the Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233.