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WHEREAS, domestic violence impacts our families, homes, communities, schools, institutions, and workplaces on a daily basis; and
WHEREAS, individuals can be victims of domestic violence regardless of age, gender identity, sexual orientation, race, culture, socioeconomic status, or religion; and
WHEREAS, without intervention, cycles of violence perpetuate through generations; and
WHEREAS, the effects of domestic violence harm every aspect of our community from our schools to our military to our healthcare system to our economy; and
WHEREAS, family and intimate partner homicides continue to represent over one-third of all homicides in the Commonwealth; and
WHEREAS, in 2017, more than 55,000 emergency protective orders were issued by magistrates across the Commonwealth to protect the immediate health and safety of domestic violence victims and their family members; and
WHEREAS, in 2018, 6,864 adults and children received 224,961 nights of emergency shelter due to domestic violence; and
WHEREAS, a strong criminal justice system sends messages of accountability and victim support; and
WHEREAS, in 1977, Virginia's first Domestic Violence Shelter opened its doors as the Women's Resource Center of New River Valley and continues to be the cornerstone of courage and inspiration for thousands of people in Radford, Virginia, and the surrounding community; and
WHEREAS, during the month of October, domestic violence advocacy agencies, systems-partners, communities, and allies come together to connect those who work to end violence, to celebrate those who have survived, and to mourn those who have died because of domestic violence; and
WHEREAS, it is critical that those seeking help or services have access to proper care and treatment; and
WHEREAS, domestic violence prevention is the best form of victim services, and just as public health’s systematic approaches have helped mitigate a range of threats once thought to be intractable, they can also help to prevent domestic violence;
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Ralph S. Northam, do hereby recognize October 2019 as DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AWARENESS MONTH in our COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA, and I call this observance to the attention of all our citizens.