Shattered Lives: A look at domestic violence in Mississippi
An estimated one in four women and one in seven men will experience domestic abuse at some point in their lives.
Mississippi law enforcement expects the number of domestic violence related calls it receives to rise over the holiday period.
According to the American Medical Association, injuries inflicted by a spouse or partner are the most common reason for a woman to have to visit the emergency room. That’s more than car accidents, muggings and rapes combined.
Shocking as that might be to most people, it comes as no surprise to Leslie Payne, who's been running the Care Lodge for more than 20 years.
"Our society as a whole is addicted to violence," she said.
Payne added, "When you look at one in four families being affected by domestic violence. One in three teen dating relationships may be violent, we are a community which is suffering from domestic violence."
The Lauderdale County Sheriff’s Department responds to multiple domestic violence related calls a week.
"Many of the murders that we see in our community are related to domestic violence," said Chief Deputy Ward Calhoun. "Laws can't solve all of our problems. People have to take it upon themselves to seek help and to act on these issues early.”
Part two of our special assignment looks at how domestic abuse shapes young lives.
If you or someone you know is a victim of domestic violence, call Care Lodge at 601-693-HOPE