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In recognition of Domestic Violence Awareness Month, WIZS’ Town Talk will feature local organizations that deal with various aspects of this prevalent type of abuse each Tuesday in October.
Debbie Scott, Gang Resource Specialist and Domestic Violence Investigator with the Vance County Sheriff’s Office, was on Tuesday’s edition of Town Talk to discuss her role as a “supporter and advocate for those who are afraid.”
According to Emergency 911 reports, 1,304 domestic calls were reported throughout the City of Henderson and County of Vance between October 1, 2018, and October 1, 2019. Of these calls, 445 were assaults involving the victim being struck by the attacker’s body or a weapon; 84 were sexual assaults.
Scott said that once she receives a report of a domestic call, she follows up with a phone call to the victim and explains their options and available resources.
“I advise them if they should seek further assistance, make recommendations and share with them community resources,” said Scott. “I also explain their right to file a Domestic Violence Protection Order, otherwise known as a 50B, and sometimes serve as their support in court.”
Scott stated that protection orders can be taken out at the Vance County Clerk of Court Monday-Friday from 8:30 a.m. until 5 p.m. and at the Magistrate Office after hours. The Vance County Courthouse is located at 156 Church St. in downtown Henderson.
Though Scott said many victims do not leave their partners after a domestic violence incident, she always suggests that they have a safety plan in the event that they do decide to remove themselves and their children from the abusive situation.
“I tell them to have some money set aside, at least a few dollars, talk to a family member or friend about staying with them for a few days, makes copies or take photos of important documents, keep a cell phone and don’t hesitate to call 911 or the Vance County Sheriff’s Office.”
When asked why victims do not leave abusive partners, Scott responded, “They’ll say they don’t have a job, they can’t support themselves or their kids, they worry about what will happen after they leave, they say they love them or think they will change; there are a variety of reasons.”
In addition to the Sheriff’s Office, resources and assistance for domestic violence victims are available at the Vance County Department of Social Services, located at 350 Ruin Creek Road in Henderson, or by calling the main office line at (252) 492-5001.
Infinite Possibilities, a non-profit domestic violence organization, is also available by calling (252) 431-1926 or the 24-hour local crisis line at (252) 425-2492. A National Hotline is also available by calling 1-800-799-7233.
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