October 17, 2013 --
Motorists slowed to a snail’s pace, pedestrians in the area stopped to witness the scene.
One by one, a plethora of motorcycles slowly rumbled down the road.
The drivers carefully guided their motorcycles into parking spaces and converged on the grass in front of the Town and Country Restaurant.
The demonstration was to show their support for Domestic Violence Awareness Proclamation and Motorcycle Ride at Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany Oct. 9.
“Domestic violence is a menace to our society,” Brenda G. Ray, health and prevention coordinator, Marine and Family Programs, MCLB Albany, said. “It does not discriminate. It affects all ages, races, classes and genders.
“Our mission to eliminate domestic violence is not a mission impossible,” she said. “It is a mission possible.”
To achieve the mission, Col. Don Davis, commanding officer, MCLB Albany, signed a proclamation acknowledging October as National Domestic Awareness Month.
“We lead the way in everything we do as Marines,” Davis said. “This is one of those things where we want to be at the tip of the spear. I can’t think of anything we can do that’s more patriotic than for us to support the family unit by fighting domestic violence.”
Silke Deeley, executive director, Liberty House, Albany, Ga., said domestic violence is an international epidemic. To validate her claim, she shared the following statistics.
“Every nine seconds a woman is abused,” she said. “One in three will experience violence in their relationships. Battering of women by a family member results in more injuries that require medical attention than rape, automobile crashes and mugging combined, and 3.3 million kids are exposed to domestic violence each year.”
In an effort to drive the point home, Deeley gave statistics for the local community and the state of Georgia.
Liberty House provided housing to 170 women and children victims of domestic violence since January.
Additionally, the organization provided services for 705 non-residential persons with 21 being men.
According to Deeley, the Albany Police Department reported 1,022 substantiated cases of domestic violence and 164 calls just last month.
Since September 2012, 63 people died as a result of domestic violence in Georgia.
With such appalling numbers, Deeley explained having proper understanding is essential in deterring this crime.
Lack of understanding prevents many victims from seeking any type of intervention or to identify the early warning signals of domestic abuse.
Deeley said this can be attributed to the only domestic violence incidents being reported in the media are severe or extreme cases; therefore, many victims do not identify themselves as victims because their circumstance is not extreme.
“We need to change that,” she said.