The numbers vary in each community and state but as many as 1 of every 3 women is a victim of domestic violence. Monday Attorney General Jim Hood released a new guide which can be used to help victims navigate the legal process and find help out of potentially deadly relationships.
These are the hands of the victim of domestic violence. We have been asked to protect her identity. She was married for 25 years to a man who physically, mentally and emotionally abused her.
"The abuser threatened me, he threatened my family, my friends and he even stalked me at the shelter that I was at. The protection, the abuse protection order helped because it kind of stopped him in his tracks. He knew that if he violated that he would go to jail," the victim said.
State Attorney General Jim Hood says other victims remain with their abusers not realizing how they can get a protective order. This new guide gives easy to follow instructions and will be placed in libraries, shelters and court offices across the state.
"It goes through the forms of what you have to fill out, it tells you how to do it. Many of these victims don't have money to buy gas to get to the courthouse even, much less to be able to hire a lawyer," said Hood.
"I've heard the cries on the phone and you really want to reach out and give them a hug," said Shirley Williams, Executive Director of the Mississippi Volunteer Lawyers Project.
From lawyers who volunteer their time to shelters and agencies that try to help abused women and men, all agree this new guide can help save lives.
"Its what we're here for is to offer a chance for victims to start their lives over in a peaceful environment," said Sandy Middleton, Director of the Center for Violence Prevention.
For this victim the protective order was more than just a piece of paper, it gave her peace of mind.
"There is help, don't wait, get out, don't wait until its too late."
For more information contact the Attorney General's Domestic Violence Division at (601) 359-2485 or email@example.com
Also the Mississippi Coalition Against Domestic Violence at 1-800-898-3234 or www.mcadv.org
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