Domestic violence: Support those trying to break the cycle

From 1996 to 2005, domestic violence in Lycoming County claimed the lives of 11 local people.

Hundreds of other people were physically and mentally damaged by the ugly outcomes of domestic abuse in Lycoming County during that time.

The Sun-Gazette recently detailed the escalating nature of domestic violence. There were 298 Protection From Abuse orders issued in all of 2012. In the first quarter of 2013, there were 92 PFA orders issued, a frightening projected increase in the number of PFAs.

It’s real.

It’s scary.

And unfortunately, there don’t appear to be a lot of answers on how to stop these despicable life horrors.

We are fortunate in our area to have services available to care for domestic abuse victims. Many have found refuge at Williamsport’s YWCA and its Wise Options program.

Domestic abuse is not just a problem between a man and a woman. It impacts entire families, generations and, often, entire communities. Once in the cycle of domestic abuse, it’s a tough place from which to escape.

A good place to start is family support.

Beyond that, it’s important for all of us to support organizations and programs dedicated to helping in the fight against domestic abuse.

These programs have a track record of often turning around the lives of domestic abuse victims. It’s hard to stop domestic abuse from happening when the circumstances for it are in place. The next best thing is fixing the problem.

It takes family support, community support, programs dedicated to shelter and healing and support of those programs.

Admittedly, it’s a tough road.

But as far as we can tell, it’s the only road.