MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

October 10, 2013

Be a voice for victims of domestic violence

By Gene Wallace
Local view

— It has been said the sounds of silence can be deafening, and as America has established the month of October as recongnition of Domestic Violence Month, we all need to be a voice for victims. According to current data 25 percent, or one in four women, report being a victim in their lifetime. Three women are murdered every day, and 50 percent of women murdered last year were a victim of an intimate partner. This compares to just 5 percent of male victims killed by an intimate relationship.

Abuse can be physical, sexual, emotional, economic, and psychological. The abuser takes actions or makes threats that influence the other person. The human cost to a community is unacceptable and destructive for the values of families.

Muskogee has an opportunity to join the battle against abuse at 6 p.m. Oct. 22 at the Roxy Theatre. The evening will be dedicated to the showing of “Telling Amy’s Story,” the documented story of the tragic death of a young mother, Amy McGhee. Her story is very graphic as to the circle of the silence, and violence, and its challenges to a community and its justice system. A panel consisting of community activists will be available for public discussion. The District Attorneys Association of Oklahoma has joined forces with domestic violence agencies like the WISH House of Muskogee and Verzion phone company, the employer of Amy McGhee, in the collection of older unused cell phones, to provide a lifeline contact to 911 centers across our state. A charged cell phone can call 911 without being connected to a phone company or contract. Since it’s inception over 10.1 million phones have been donated. Muskogee County District Attorney Larry Moore and Evelyn Hibbs, local WISH director, and her board are to be commended for their efforts to strengthen our community’s voice for victims.

The event is open to all, and free. I would encourage our pastors, community leaders, teachers, and parents to join the battle against abuse.

Gene Wallace is a Muskogee County commissioner.