During the past few weeks, a video of a judge in Texas beating his teenage daughter has been making rounds on the Internet; a woman and others at a salon in Southern California were killed by a disgruntled husband; and an ex-coach at Penn State has been arrested for sexually abusing children.
Those are just the latest incidents to make the news, but how many more incidents of violence and abuse take place in secret and go unreported? Fear is common among those who are abused, and for this reason, many incidents of domestic violence and abuse go unreported, leading to prolonged suffering and isolation for the victims.
Right now, we in Northern Nevada have an important opportunity to open up a conversation about violence and abuse in our own community. According to Nevada Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto, victims of domestic violence comprise the largest crime victim category in Nevada. Although domestic violence is significantly underreported and statistics are incomplete, the Nevada Department of Public Safety uniform crime report for 2009 reported 29,091 female victims and 12,060 children present at incidents of domestic violence. The Nevada Network Against Domestic Violence reports that 42,877 first-time victims received services from domestic violence programs in fiscal year 2010-11.
Here at Carson City Health and Human Services, we are mandatory reporters of violence and abuse against children. We never like to see anyone suffer in an abusive situation, especially kids. It is important for those who use our clinic to know that, when we speak up as mandatory reporters about suspected abuse, we do so for a client's safety and well being. Also, mandatory reporting of child abuse and neglect is the law for certain people, like teachers and health care workers.
People who are victims of violence and abuse at home, at school, or elsewhere need to know that there is help for them. Here in Carson City, you can contact Advocates to End Domestic Violence. Lisa Lee, Advocates director, said with 51 beds, the shelter in Carson City is the largest in Northern Nevada.
Victims of violence can seek refuge there for up to five months to escape a bad situation, and caring staff and counselors will help victims find support and resources. Volunteers who wish to help also can contact the shelter for opportunities to be involved.
For advocacy, counseling or referrals, call the Nevada Statewide Domestic Violence Hotline at 800-500-1556 or the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 800-799-SAFE (7233). Advocates to End Domestic Violence can be reached on the web at www.aedv.org or by phone at 883-7654.
For more information about other Health Department services,
check out our website at www.gethealthycarson-
city.org or visit us at www.facebook.com/cchhs.
Carson City Health and Human Services
900 East Long St., Carson City
Hours: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday-Wednesday and Friday; call for appointment.
Well Child visits: 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Mondays.
Men's Clinic: 4-6 p.m. Mondays; call for appointment.
Immunization Day: 8:30-11:30 a.m.; 1-4:30 p.m. Thursdays; no appointment needed.