BOISE – U.S. Attorney Josh Hurwit convened with over 50 representatives from victim advocacy groups, domestic violence organizations, tribal communities, and law enforcement agencies throughout Idaho to commemorate Domestic Violence Awareness Month yesterday. U.S. Attorney Hurwit and other federal prosecutors from his office presented training on federal tools to prosecute domestic violence offenders and to reduce their ability to reoffend, including by prosecuting offenders who are prohibited from possessing firearms.
The event was part of the U.S. Department of Justice’s effort to bring together advocates, survivors, victim service providers, justice professionals, police and first responders, and communities across the U.S. in observing October as Domestic Violence Awareness Month.
Domestic violence is more prevalent than many realize. Approximately one in four women and one in seven men will experience severe domestic violence in their lifetimes. The rates are disproportionately higher for American Indian and Alaska Native populations, women of color, the LGBTQ+ community, and people with disabilities. The devastating consequences of domestic violence can cross generations and last a lifetime. Domestic Violence Awareness Month provides an opportunity to spread awareness about domestic violence and encourage everyone to play a role in ending gender-based violence.
“Our office is committed to prosecuting domestic violence crimes and supporting victims and survivors in Idaho,” said U.S. Attorney Hurwit. “We want the community to know we are here to assist in these matters. But prosecution alone cannot fully address the underlying root problems that can lead to domestic abuse. That is why I am so grateful to the attendees at our event for sharing their stories and inspiring collaboration between law enforcement, advocates, and providers of social services.”
All attendees joined in a conversation about how to support domestic violence survivors and to break the cycles of abuse that too often affect generations of families and communities. The attendees collectively agreed that further communicating about domestic violence trends, as well about related issues, such as substance abuse and human trafficking, would be of benefit to their communities.
If you or someone you know is experiencing or has experienced domestic violence, you are not alone and there are many services available to help, including the National Domestic Violence Hotline, 1-800-799-SAFE (7233), the National Center for Victims of Crime www.victimsofcrime.org and the National Coalition against Domestic Violence https://ncadv.org/