IOCC Educates Children to Prevent Domestic Violence
Penelope House, one of the oldest domestic abuse shelters in the southern U.S. for women and their children, recently received a grant from IOCC for $19,000 to spread awareness and education on domestic abuse among schoolchildren. According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, nearly 1 in 3 adult women are assaulted by a husband or partner. (photo credit: IOCC Baltimore)Mobile, Alabama —Tonie Ann Torrans takes pleasure in describing Penelope House, the shelter she runs for battered women, as “Fort Knox.” She leads a visitor through an electronic fence lined with barbed wire. A second fence will not open until they are cleared through a call box. The compound has lights, a security camera, a good relationship with local police, and--if that were not enough--“a third line of defense with the moat,” said Torrans, referring to the reservoir ditch in front of the shelter that she hopes will make perpetrators think twice about trying to get to their wives or girlfriends.
Some are quite determined. “We’ve had gentlemen climb the fence, or park their cars nearby, or even make calls threatening the children if their partner didn’t come out,” said Torrans.
She excuses herself for a few minutes to check on a television crew from a local news station. Yesterday, a Mobile woman was shot and killed by her ex-husband in front of her parents. Torrans explains that the woman had moved her belongings out of the house, but when she went back to pick up some items, her ex-husband was waiting. “It’s best to just leave your belongings and start a new life,” said Torrans. “Women tend to minimize the danger or they justify it—‘well, he hit me because I burned the chicken’—but there is no justifiable hitting.”
According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, nearly 1 in 3 adult women are assaulted by a husband or partner. Of the 6 million women who are beaten each year by an intimate partner, 4,000 are killed, and only one-fourth of domestic violence cases are reported.