Once again we are sickened to hear of an apparent domestic violence homicide in our service area. Tragedies like what has unfolded in Arlington are a stark reminder that the warning signs of abuse are not always easy to spot, and that domestic violence happens in all types of relationships, in all types of communities. Our deepest sympathies go out to those who are suffering from this tragic loss of life. To the community as a whole, we want to say that help is available. REACH provides services in 27 cities and towns including Arlington, and we are here if you need to talk with someone about abuse you are experiencing. We are here if you have concerns about a friend or a family member. We are here if you need help talking to your kids about healthy relationships. We are here if you want to learn more about how to build healthier communities and prevent domestic violence.
Seeing stories like this in the news can have varying effects on us. You may feel sorrow, you may feel helpless, you may even feel numb. It’s important to be aware of your reactions and to take good care of yourself. It’s understandable to feel helpless, and to start to feel like these things are inevitable, but they don’t have to be. We can all play a role in building healthier communities. When we speak publicly about domestic violence, we bring it out of the shadows, out from behind the closed doors and the generations of silence and stigma that have surrounded it, and we let victims know that they are not alone.
Know the risk factors. Learn what to say to a friend who might be experiencing abuse. Know the resources. And commit to bringing the issue out into the open. Together we will reach beyond domestic violence.
REACH’s hotline is available 24/7 at 1-800-899-4000.