Domestic violence awareness month highlights statistics and hope

By Joanna Puddister King
JACKSON – Nearly 20 people per minute are physically abused by an intimate partner in the United States. And on a typical day, there are more than 20,000 phone calls placed to domestic violence hotlines nationwide. These and many more heartbreaking statistics are shared during the month of October during Domestic Violence Awareness Month, but Catholic Charities program director of the Jackson Shelter for Battered Families, Sarah Bradley wants everyone to be aware of these statistics every month.

She says that in Mississippi 39.7% of women and 31.7% of men experience intimate partner physical violence, intimate partner sexual violence and/or intimate partner stalking in their lifetimes. “In one day Mississippi domestic violence programs served 354 adult and child survivors. Mississippi dropped from fifth highest in the nation to number 22 in the number of females murdered by men,” said Bradley.

“The statistics on domestic violence are distressful and concerning. The COVID pandemic has heightened stress among households which results in stress being taken out on their loved ones,” said Bradley.

Domestic violence is also a leading cause of homelessness for women and children. This is one reason the Jackson Shelter for Battered Families is designed to help victims or survivors of abuse and their children during this critical time by utilizing a trauma informed approach to shelter care, says Bradley. The shelter provides emergency temporary safe housing for up to 30 days, emotional support, counseling, referral assistance, court advocacy and other supportive services as needed.

This year, funds raised from Catholic Charities annual Purple Dress Run will help support the shelter by bringing about awareness of domestic violence and human trafficking. This year, the event will be held at the District at Eastover in Jackson and includes a costume contest and prizes awarded to the best dressed.

To support the Jackson Shelter for Battered Families, you can register for the Purple Dress Run or donate to the cause at

If you need assistance escaping abuse, please call Catholic Charities Jackson at (601) 366-0222 or 1-800-273-9012; or the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE(7233) or chat online at