Advocates highlight resources for people trying to escape abusive relationships

Oct 18, 2021, 3:22 PM

TAYLORSVILLE, Utah — October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

Advocates say, on average, it takes seven times for a Caucasian woman to leave a relationship, and the numbers are even higher for people of color.

That’s why they’re highlighting the resources out there for people trying to escape an abusive relationship.

The life of 38-year-old Gaby Ramos was tragically cut short, allegedly by an ex-fiancé.

Family speaks out after Taylorsville woman gunned down in her home

Liz Sollis with the Utah Domestic Violence Coalition said the deadly encounter can have an impact on witnesses.

“In cases like this, we also know there’s going to be a lot of trauma that people are going to experience who witnessed it, whether they’re a child or an adult,” she said.

Sollis added that traumatic events like this happen year-round, and that’s why they join forces with advocacy organizations to get the word out.

“However, what we know is we need to bring awareness every day of the year,” she said.

Statistics show one in three women and one in seven men in Utah will experience domestic violence in their lifetime.

Many, Sollis said, don’t realize the power and control the abuser has over them.

From the outside looking in, we may not realize the red flags — such as negative comments or gaslighting — can be subtle. It’s important we listen and ask questions.

“You can say, ‘Hey, I saw that interaction the other day. Are you ok? Is that something? Is that normal for you guys?’” suggested Sollis.

If you suspect a loved one or friend may be in an abusive relationship, Sollis said encourage them to seek help.

“Sometimes they may not want to leave,” she said. “They may want to find out what support services are out there that can help them stay safe.”

There are so many resources out there.

Let your loved one or friend know they are not alone.

Free and confidential statewide support is available for EVERYONE, 24/7: 1-800-897-LINK (5465). You can also call the National Domestic Violence at: 1-800-799-SAFE (7233).

In a press release, The Stop the Violence Utah campaign said:

“They are committed to ending domestic and sexual violence by raising awareness, empowering survivors, elevating prevention strategies, supplying advocacy tools and promoting investment by our communities and systems. We envision a world and state free from sexual and domestic violence. By uniting as one campaign and utilizing the unique perspective we each bring, we believe we can prompt real cultural change and dialogue, empower survivors and build a Utah where sexual and domestic violence are not tolerated or accepted.”

“Members of the Stop the Violence Utah campaign include Canyon Creek Services, CAPSA, Peace House, The Refuge, Safe Harbor, Seekhaven, South Valley Services, YCC Family Crisis Center, YWCA Utah, and the Utah Domestic Violence Coalition.

“To find Domestic Violence Awareness Month events near you and for more information about Stop the Violence Utah, visit stoptheviolenceutah.org or follow @stoptheviolenceutah on Instagram and Facebook.”

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Advocates highlight resources for people trying to escape abusive relationships