Domestic Violence Awareness Month

Local News

Now that it’s Domestic Violence Awareness Month, we wanted to highlight some of the 20 programs in the state that are helping victims get back on their feet. But there are also ways you too can help prevent it.

When you think of domestic violence you think of someone being physical, but that’s not always the case.

“It looks like name-calling, turning kids against the other parent, it looks like taking all the money or controlling all the money,” said Courtney Monroe Ryckman, Direct Services Supervisor at the Abused Adult Resource Center.

It doesn’t just happen one time, it’s a pattern of behavior that millions of men and women face every day. Courtney Monroe Ryckman at the Abused Adult Resource Center, sees it affecting people from 20 to 90 years old.

“It happens all the time. The other thing that people don’t realize is that drugs and alcohol do not cause domestic violence, they can make a situation worse but they are not the cause of those problems,” said Ryckman.

Last year, AARC helped 1,114 new victims of domestic violence and sheltered 124 families.

Some warning signs include isolation, change in appearance and behavior. You can also see if their partner is showing controlling behavior. If you think someone is being abused, make eye contact with them, slip them a note or have a conversation with them.

AARC works closely with law enforcement on what they can do when they see this while on duty. At the Mandan Police Department, officers respond to six calls for domestic violence every day. But, they are trained.

“We train our officers in what domestic violence might look like, how victims might respond, and what they can do in order to do the best they can do on the scene and in the future,” said Tricia Schmeichel, Mandan Police Detective.

As for Ryckman, there may not be a complete end to domestic violence but she will fight to save at least one life.

AARC is hosting a “Take Back the Night” rally at the state Capitol on Monday at 5 p.m. The gathering is dedicated to remembering victims of domestic violence and helping those currently going through it.

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