The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

October 21, 2012

Police, YWCA can assist domestic violence victims

Enid News and Eagle

ENID, Okla. — The statistics are sobering.

Each year, about 100 Oklahomans lose their lives to domestic violence. This year, 68 state residents have met such a fate: a man stabbed to death by his wife, a teenage girl strangled by her boyfriend, a woman repeatedly shot by her boyfriend, a 68-year-old woman killed by her husband.

In Enid, the police department, YWCA Enid and other social service agencies are trying to stop the cycle of violence.

The relationship between Enid Police Department and YWCA wasn’t always the best, but four years ago, Garfield County Domestic Violence Task Force was formed to pull together the efforts of law enforcement, social service providers, prosecutors and community nonprofits to prevent and respond to domestic violence.

EPD now works directly with YWCA Enid on domestic violence cases, connecting victims with the counseling and advocacy services available at the YWCA. And, the YWCA staff is able to help police by giving victims the support they need to follow through on a criminal charge against their attacker.

YWCA Enid also has a 24-hour crisis line available at (580) 234-7644 or (800) 966-7644.

This coordinated effort is the type of approach that has the best chance of succeeding.

Victims need to know they are not alone, that there are people supporting them and helping them. Victims have to know they can stop the abuse, that they don’t have to just accept it as part of their lives.

The system set up in Enid is a good one, provided people utilize it.

We urge people who are victims, their families and friends to take advantage of the services and put an end to the violence.