(06/07/2012)
By Bob Weaver

Domestic violence is the most frequently committed crime in Calhoun and most West Virginia counties. Domestic violence officials say one-fourth of the incidents go unreported.

In West Virginia during the last two months, eleven West Virginia women have been killed by their husbands, boyfriends or relatives.

Several additional deaths have been to children, including the death of a Charleston boy who ran from a car across the Interstate to get help for his mother, struck and killed by an oncoming car.

Now, we have the senseless deaths of small children, victims of an enraged man.

Because of the social stigma and privacy laws, domestic violence incidents often remain hidden from the public.

Domestic violence related incidents generate the highest numbers received by Calhoun's 911 center.

A recent WV study shows that women in the Mountain State are more likely to be victims of violent-related homicide, while the men who commit the violent acts are more likely to kill themselves afterward.

The state ranks near the top in the nation when it comes to the number of domestic violence deaths, per capita for the population.

Republicans in Congress, with the political polarization, are blocking the renewal of the federal Violence Against Women Act, and many outreach programs like DART in Calhoun County are at risk.

The federal act funds police and court programs to reduce female bashing.

The Republicans are blocking the program because it includes Hispanics, Native Americans and lesbian women.

The Violence Against Women Act was once broadly supported by both Democrats and Republicans.

Lori Fleagle with Calhoun's DART program said, "There is much to be done with public education," helping the abused and the abuser to get help.

The DART program was started by Fleagle over 16 years ago, and has responded to several thousand calls for help.


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