It's an issue no one wants to talk about: domestic violence. But our local business, Molly Maid of Mahoning and Trumbull Counties, strongly believes all people deserve to feel safe in their own homes, which is why we've taken up this important cause.
Approximately 1.3 million women each year are physically assaulted by an intimate partner in the United States, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics. According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, more than 20,000 domestic violence calls are filed per year. Domestic violence is a growing nationwide problem and we recognize that. While millions of women report this crime, there are too many others who are afraid their situation is beyond help.
October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month and throughout this time, Molly Maid businesses across the country have increased awareness of domestic violence and raised money through our nonprofit organization, the Ms. Molly Foundation.
Since our efforts began in 1996, Molly Maid has raised more than $1 million to help support local safe houses and domestic violence shelters across the country. Most of this money is raised each October, during the annual "Making a Difference Drive," our largest fundraising event of the year for this cause. We also collect much-needed goods that we donate to local shelters.
While the month of October is extremely important to us, our efforts don't stop there. Throughout the year, we contribute 10 cents of every clean to the Ms. Molly Foundation as well as allow our employees to wear jeans on Fridays for a dollar donation toward the foundation.
We are often asked: "Why Domestic Violence?" The answer is simple. This is a natural fit for us. Victims of domestic violence cross all economic, social and racial boundaries. Also, since we talk to people in their homes every day and our employees and customers can all relate to someone who has dealt with domestic violence, it's a cause near and dear to our hearts. This compassion continues to grow.
If someone suspects someone he or she knows is being abused, consider asking yourself these questions, courtesy of Women against Domestic Violence:
Have you seen evidence of injuries?
Have you accepted explanations for her black eyes, bruises or broken bones?
Do they miss work frequently?
Does partner show an unusual amount of control over his or her life?
Have you noticed changes in his or her children's behavior?
Does partner embarrass or ridicule him or her in public?
Does one partner blame the other for the way he or she acts or the things he or she says?
Awareness of this important issue is the key to helping with prevention. We are hopeful that through the education of people in Mahoning and Trumbull counties about this very serious issue, others will be inspired to help and give back as well. For more information on The Ms. Molly Foundation, visit mollymaid.com / foundation.
-- Katie Burkey, Molly Maid of Mahoning and Trumbull Counties