Over the years I’ve been very fortunate to be an ambassador for Vern Eide’sDrive Out Domestic Violence” campaign.

You may not know that I am a retired Sioux Falls Police Officer, and during my 26 years of service, I investigated many Domestic Violence incidents. I’m also recognized as an expert resource in the area of Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault investigations.

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National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1.800.799.SAFE (7233)

In the past I’ve talked about Domestic Violence statistics, signs to look for in a person who is in a violent relationship, resources that are available for them, and how you can best help them become a “survivor."

I’ve decided that during this year's “Drive Out Domestic Violence” campaign I’m going to talk directly to you…yes you…a victim of Domestic Violence.

I want you to know that what you are experiencing is not your fault. You didn’t ask for it, nor do you deserve it. I also want you to know that there is help available from people who are themselves survivors of domestic violence. They, better than anyone, truly understand what you are going through.

I can talk about Power and Control and how pervasive and stifling it is. I can talk about what victims have told me about their abuse. How as bad as the physical can be, the mental abuse is even more devastating and long-lasting.

National Domestic Violence Hotline
National Domestic Violence Hotline

FIND HELP: Children’s Home Shelter for Family Safety crisis hotline number is 605-338-4880.

I can talk about struggling to make the decision to leave, knowing how dangerous it will be for you. I can talk about almost every aspect of being a victim of domestic violence.

All that talk has its place. It’s how law enforcement, victim advocates, lawyers, and judges learn what they need to know to help you become a survivor.

But, it’s just talk. You live it every day. You know all of it at a deeper level than anyone will ever be able to grasp or understand. That’s why I’m a huge believer in reaching out for help from those that have been there.

You don’t have to suffer. I have great hope that you will find the strength and courage to take the first step on the road to becoming a Domestic Violence survivor.

MORE: Please Help Us Drive Out Domestic Violence in South Dakota 

National Domestic Violence Hotline
National Domestic Violence Hotline

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