Hattiesburg Recognizes Domestic Violence Awareness Month - WHLT 22 Connecting the Pine Belt

Hattiesburg Recognizes Domestic Violence Awareness Month

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For the month of October, purple is the color of domestic violence awareness.

"The Mayor of Hattiesburg, in recognition of important work done by the Domestic Violence program, proclaims October as National Domestic Violence Awareness Month," Hattiesburg Mayor Johnny DuPree read.

He said part of his job is to highlight areas that are a detriment to the city, and domestic violence is one of them.

"It's one of those events that happens that puts everybody at harm, not only the two that are involved in the domestic dispute, but also the police officer as well," DuPree said.

He explained in 2008, they recognized domestic violence calls skyrocketing, so they sent Lt.. Latosha Myers-Mitchell to start a special force to handle those situations.  She received special training with the Domestic Violence unit in Memphis, Tenn.

"We recognize Domestic Violence Awareness month because a lot of people don't realize that domestic violence is a crime," Mitchell said.  "A lot of people feel that what happens in their home or what happens in the family that's family business, but domestic violence is a crime."

She said it is a crime that can be prevented in many instances.

"...if we educate the public on what the law states about domestic violence and put it out there that there is help for you," Mitchell said.  "You don't have to stay in that situation."

DuPree and Mitchell invite the public to attend a vigil October 29 at the Jackie Dole Community Center at 6:30 p.m.

"It's just going to be a time to sit back and reflect and bring this crime to the forefront and honor those people who may have succumbed to domestic violence and uplift and recognize the survivors," Mitchell said.

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