The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence says one in three women and one in seven men have been physically abused by an intimate partner. As part of domestic violence awareness month, the University of Kansas’s annual safety report from 2015 to 2016 showed a significant increase in domestic violence reports, up from four in 2015 to twelve in 2016. The Willow Domestic Violence center of Lawrence was the first center in the state. It opened its doors in 1976.
“Domestic violence awareness month is about educating people on campus who aren’t aware of the real problem that we have on campus and in Lawrence and Kansas City,” said The Willow Advocate Sophie Jones.
This month they are hosting the ‘Strong Today 5k,’ a go-at-your-own-pace event to raise money for the shelter. The Willow always needs donations of standard health products, diapers and old cell phones.
“It really reaches not only just the people at The Willow like I said the court advocacy, basic needs like food and shelter, obviously bus tickets are a big thing that they always need, gas cards… A lot of women and children are completely financially cut off by their abuser when they come to The Willow so anything you use in your everyday life they need.
Counselors say social media now plays a two-sided role in domestic abuse cases. It provides more ways to get help but can also give an abuser a way to track people down,” said Jones.
The Willow recommends keeping private info off your walls and tweets.