Ending the violence in Gibson County homes - 14 News, WFIE, Evansville, Henderson, Owensboro

Ending the violence in Gibson County homes

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Work is underway to try to help out with domestic violence calls in Gibson County.

In the past three years, Gibson County has averaged more than 500 calls each year.

There's no local agency to offer help in the area, so victims and families are referred to agencies in Evansville.

Gibson County has already received 113 reports of domestic violence this year and when officers respond, children are often present and fearful of what happens next.

"Most times they become very protective of the victim, to where they're going to say, 'I'm going to attack my step dad for what he's done to my mom' and stop this from ever happening again," Christina Wicks said. 

Wicks, who works for Albion, meets with children who come from homes where domestic violence is an everyday occurrence.  

"I think unfortunately we've seen a steady increase for the past several years," Wicks said.

Experts at Holly's House said  it's important for those children to receive help before the violence becomes an inter-generational pattern.  

"Children that grow up in homes that have violence are also ending up in adult relationships where violence is a component," Sidney Hardgrave with Holly's House said.

The 24-hour crisis hotline 2,368 calls.

388 women and 255 children were given a safe place to escape the violence.

Gibson County law enforcement work to bring those victims in contact with direct assistance.  

"Law enforcement has in most situations gone, picked them up, no questions asked, will bring them within Vanderburgh County lines and we usually have a taxi waiting to bring them into our shelter," Wicks said.

Albion has a 24-hour on call response team.

Kelly Wonder is a domestic violence survivor and is a member of that team.  

"Me and several others respond directly to emergency rooms, that way if somebody is in crisis, we'll show up hand in hand, walk them through all the steps and get them to where they need to be, give them the help they need and show them all of the options available to them," Wonder said.

Albion officials are looking to form a network of volunteers from Gibson County to be on that 24/7 on-call staff.

If you're interested in becoming a volunteer, visit Albion's website.  

If you're interested in learning more about Kelly's story, click here.

And to learn more about a Tri-State initiative to end the violence visit, Speak up Tri-State.

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