Square dance calling — the spoken instructions said over the music — makes participation easy. But there are other aspects — like the prevalence of gendered language such as “ladies and gents” — that can make square dancing an unwelcoming or confusing space. One group of friends in the Appalachian square dance scene are taking action to make the tradition more welcoming for all participants.Continue Reading Take Me to More News
Nearly one in four women, and one in seven men, will experience severe domestic abuse in their lifetime and 20 percent of all violent crime is categorized as domestic violence.
In support of Domestic Violence Awareness Month (DVAM), Will Thompson, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of West Virginia, is promoting the importance of enforcing federal firearm prohibitions.
Domestic violence abusers with access to a gun are five times more likely to kill their partners, according to the 2021 National Crime Victimization Survey data from the Bureau of Justice Statistics.
“Domestic violence affects us all personally in some way, and can have long-lasting impacts and consequences,” Thompson said. “As federal prosecutors in the Southern District of West Virginia, it is incumbent upon us to deploy every available resource and forge strategic collaborations with local law enforcement and fellow prosecutors. We have a shared responsibility to ensure that victims have a viable path to safety and justice.”
Thompson is promoting the importance of enforcing federal firearm prohibitions as part of the observance of DVAM.
In West Virginia, 14 of the 19 domestic violence homicides reported in 2020 were committed with firearms. Domestic violence abusers with access to a gun are five times more likely to kill their partners.
Under federal law, offenders with domestic violence misdemeanor and felony convictions, and those subject to domestic violence protective orders, are prohibited from purchasing or possessing firearms. They can face felony prosecution and a federal prison sentence.
“A crucial part of combatting domestic violence and reducing violent crimes includes enforcing federal firearm prohibitions,” Thompson said. “We want our communities to know that we are here to support victims and survivors in the Southern District of West Virginia, and not just in October but every month.”
If you or someone you know is a victim of domestic violence or need resources, please visit: https://www.justice.gov/ovw/local-resources.
Immediate help for domestic violence victims: Call the National Domestic Violence Hotline (@ndvhofficial) at 1-800-799-7233 or Strong Hearts Native Helpline (@strongheartsdv) at 1-844-762-8483.