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WHEREAS, the damaging effects of domestic violence negatively impact Virginians without regard for age, race, religion, gender identity, culture, sexual orientation, or socioeconomic status; and
WHEREAS, the repercussions of domestic violence can threaten our communities on a daily basis; and
WHEREAS, trauma related to domestic violence may result in long-term adverse effects on survivors’ physical and mental health well-being; and
WHEREAS, in 2018, 22.5% of all violent crimes in Virginia reported to law enforcement agencies were committed against family members or intimate dating partners; and
WHEREAS, in 2018, more than 55,000 emergency protective orders were issued by magistrates and judges in order to protect the immediate health and safety of domestic violence survivors and their family members; and
WHEREAS, domestic violence programs across the Commonwealth provided over 226,920 hours of advocacy services to 25,571 adults and children in 2018; and
WHEREAS, local victim organizations responded to 64,470 domestic and sexual violence hotline contacts across the Commonwealth in 2018; and
WHEREAS, it is imperative that those seeking help or services have access to appropriate, equitable, inclusive, trauma-informed care and services; and
WHEREAS, during the month of October, domestic violence advocacy organizations, victim-serving professionals, system-partners, communities, and allies come together to unify and support those working to end violence, support survivors, raise community awareness of the devastating effects of domestic violence, honor and support those that have survived, and mourn those we have lost;
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Ralph S. Northam, do hereby recognize October 2020 as DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AWARENESS MONTH in our COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA, and I call this observance to the attention of all our citizens.