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South Bend Common Council passes resolution to stop domestic violence

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- Police respond to roughly 8,000 domestic violence calls in St. Joseph County each year. Now, these startling statistics are getting local officials to take action.

Monday, the South Bend Common Council passed a resolution to help stop domestic violence in our community.

It comes just one week after President Obama signed into law the reauthorized Violence Against Women Act (VAWA).

With possible budget cuts in Washington, the hope is to not only help save lives and stop violence against women, but to make sure there is always sufficient funding for local programs.

At Monday's common council meeting, Councilman Henry Davis Jr. brought the Violence Against Woman Act resolution before the rest of the South Bend Common Council. The main goal being to raise awareness and start the conversation.

"Because the conversation is there and because of the sequester, there should be more of an opportunity to talk about funding for some of these organizations that may fall under what happens with the sequester," said Davis.

Several local agencies dedicated to helping women and children of domestic violence also came to show their support for the local bill.

"We appreciate very much this important statement from all of you, that you feel this is an important issue," said Linda Beckley, the YWCA Chief Executive Officer for North Central Indiana.

"It sends a strong message that domestic violence is not tolerated in South Bend," said St. Joesph County Family Justice Center Director Sareen Dale. "It sends a strong message that our community supports this and is committed to reducing domestic violence and helping survivors."

The added support from local officials has calmed local agencies' fears and is reassuring its leaders that both the local and federal government will continue to support the services these agencies provide.

According to national statistics, three women die everyday from domestic violence. Survivors say these local programs and services have been essential to their healing process by providing counseling and safety when they had no where else to turn.

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