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Burlington, Vermont – October marks the observance of Domestic Violence Awareness Month (DVAM). U.S. Attorney Nikolas P. Kerest joins the U.S. Department of Justice in commemorating DVAM, paying tribute to victims and survivors, and saluting the dedication of advocates, service providers, justice professionals, law enforcement officers, and first responders who tirelessly work in support of survivors.
DVAM renews our commitment to addressing and preventing domestic violence. This dedication is of paramount significance, given the alarming prevalence of domestic and intimate partner violence as violent crimes. For example, nearly 20% of all violent crime is categorized as domestic violence, as revealed by the 2021 National Crime Victimization Survey data from the Bureau of Justice Statistics. By fostering awareness and proactive interventions against domestic, dating, and intimate partner violence, we pave the way for more secure, violence-free communities.
Domestic violence, dating violence, and intimate partner violence can have long-lasting impacts and consequences. Approximately one in four women and one in seven men will experience severe domestic violence in their lifetimes; however, rates are disproportionately higher for American Indian and Alaska Native populations, women of color, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, and two-spirit people, and people with disabilities. DVAM provides an opportunity to spread awareness about domestic violence and encourage everyone to play a role in ending gender-based violence.
Supporting survivors and preventing these forms of violence is our shared responsibility throughout the year. DVAM offers us a platform, in collaboration with community allies, to unequivocally proclaim our solidarity with survivors, reassuring them of our support and our intolerance for violence, be it within our homes, localities, workplaces, or wider communities.
“Domestic violence affects us all personally in some way,” said U.S. Attorney Kerest, “And we who serve as federal prosecutors for the District of Vermont have a duty to use all the tools at our disposal—and leverage our partnerships with local law enforcement and prosecutors—to ensure victims have a viable path to safety and justice. One of the tools that we created and are particularly proud of is our Vermont Crime Victim Services Directory. We encourage victims and survivors and anyone who works in support of survivors to use this resource. For more information, please see a PDF version of our 2023 Vermont Victim Services Resource Guide and the mobile downloadable version at https://vtvictimresources.com/.”
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