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Newberg event looks at domestic violence


Forum — Info session on Oct. 19 will discuss dynamics of domestic abuse, victims services, effects on children

This may be the first time Newberg is hosting a Domestic Violence Awareness Month event, but Sgt. Todd Baltzell of the Newberg-Dundee Police Department said Newberg and Dundee are not immune to the staggering statistics related to domestic violence.

“Domestic violence is at epidemic levels in the state of Oregon,” he said in an email. “In Oregon 9 percent of all women report having been physically assaulted by an intimate partner within the last five years. A 2010 Centers for Disease Control report shows that in Oregon, about 27 percent of women said they’ve been raped or faced attempted rape at some point in their lives. Fifty-six percent said they have experienced sexual violence other than rape. The CDC report placed Oregon well above the national average in terms of both sexual victimization and rape. In Oregon, DV related deaths make up at least 20 to 25 percent of all violent deaths annually.”

Baltzell added that there are a lot of myths surrounding intimate partner violence and a there’s a lack of understanding when it comes to the dynamics of family violence.

“We hope to address this to give our community a better understanding of not only the dynamics of these relationships, but also what is available to people trapped in these situations,” he said.

Baltzell will provide an informational session about domestic violence, along with Debra Bridges and Patricia Warford, from 9 a.m. to noon Oct. 19 in the Public Safety Building, Third and South Howard streets.

“I’ve been wanting to do something in Newberg because typically things occur in McMinnville,” said Warford, a psychologist specializing in domestic violence.

She said after talking with Baltzell and Bridges, they all decided to host an informational session.

“(Bridges) and I will be discussing the dynamics of domestic abuse and victim’s services that are available,” Baltzell said. “Dr. Warford will be presenting on the effects of domestic violence on children.”

Warford said research has shown children who have been exposed to domestic violence have a greater risk of illness early in adulthood. These illnesses could include cancer, heart attacks, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder.

She also said in 70 to 80 percent of cases where women are abused, the child also suffers abuse — and vice-versa.

“Research in Oregon found in women threatened, she was 40 times more likely to be assaulted,” she said. “The idea that words don’t mean anything just doesn’t hold up.”

Warford said an estimated 1,200 women and 300 men are killed every year as result of an abusive partner.

“Six percent of men who are killed, are killed by intimate partner,” she said. “And 60 to 65 percent of women (are killed by an intimate partner) — typically when they are leaving. There’s a ripple effect from domestic violence. It affects every aspect of society. If we really want to stop sex trafficking, we’ve got to address domestic violence.”

She said domestic violence is not anger management.

“It’s about power and control, dominating another human being,” she said.

Although she originally anticipated about 25 people would attend the session, a Facebook post about the event appears to have garnered greater interest than expected.