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    Monday, December 17, 2018-11:49:38A.M.

     

     

     

     

     

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October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month

GOVERNOR Ralph D.L.G. Torres on Wednesday signed a proclamation designating October as Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

During the proclamation signing ceremony held at Saipan World Resort, Torres thanked the community organizations and law enforcers for helping and protecting victims of domestic violence.

“For the victims, it is not easy to make that phone call — but you have to. We have groups of people that care about you, and we are here for you,” he said.

Gov. Ralph D.L.G. Torres signs a proclamation designating October 2018 as Domestic Violence Awareness Month while Northern Marianas Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence board chair Shelli Neal and executive director Maisie Tenorio look on.Gov. Ralph D.L.G. Torres signs a proclamation designating October 2018 as Domestic Violence Awareness Month while Northern Marianas Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence board chair Shelli Neal and executive director Maisie Tenorio look on.

An average of 500 cases of domestic violence per year is recorded in the CNMI, Office of the Attorney General case worker Juan L. Aguon said.

Each year, the Northern Marianas Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence and the Family Violence Task Force have spearheaded the observance of Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

“Domestic violence, like other forms of abuse, plagues our community and must end,” said Angelyn Palacios, program manager of the Northern Marianas Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence and co-chair for this year’s Domestic Violence Awareness Month or DVAM campaign.

Angelyn Palacios, program manager of the Northern Marianas Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence and co-chair for this year’s Domestic Violence Awareness Month campaign.Angelyn Palacios, program manager of the Northern Marianas Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence and co-chair for this year’s Domestic Violence Awareness Month campaign.

“This realization fuels the efforts of compassionate individuals to effect positive social change and empower victims of domestic violence to seek and find their voice, their freedom, and justice. We have truly come a long way,” she added.

Palacios said it helps to remind people that a collective voice can lead to social transformation. “DVAM is a time to celebrate the significant progress made by advocates and to connect with one another with a true sense of unity to end domestic violence.”

In the past, domestic violence was considered a private matter. “It was a hidden problem that was either denied or explained away and victims were left alone to carry their cross.”

CNMI officials pose with representatives of various government agencies and community organizations following the Domestic Against Violence Awareness Month proclamation signing ceremony at Saipan World Resort on Wednesday.  Photos by Lori Lyn C. LirioCNMI officials pose with representatives of various government agencies and community organizations following the Domestic Against Violence Awareness Month proclamation signing ceremony at Saipan World Resort on Wednesday. Photos by Lori Lyn C. Lirio

Today, Palacios said, people recognize that it is an act of violence if a partner is abusive toward a loved one. “There is no question that abusive behavior toward a loved one is in no way a form of discipline, but an act of violence, a means to gain control and exert power over an intimate partner.”

This year’s DVAM theme is “Support. Encourage. Empower.”

 “May we be motivated to become a community of people that supports one another through any challenge, that knows what a healthy relationship looks like, that speaks up when they see violence happening, and that provides care, safety, and support to victims and survivors when needed,” Palacios said.