One family at a time

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The fact that Carson City sheriff's deputies respond, on average, to almost four domestic-violence calls a day is a disturbing statistic.

Nevada has long had a history of above-average problems with domestic violence, and the number of cases reported in Carson City tends to grow every year.

Part of the reason, however, is that domestic violence is becoming less of a hide-in-the-closet crime. Sheriff's deputies and Advocates to End Domestic Violence have taken an agressive stance to confront the problem and provide help to its victims.

Advocates this year have taken the next step, which is responding to every domestic-violence report 24 hours a day. The group has staffed a hotline with volunteers for some time, but now sends out the volunteers in pairs to do whatever is necessary to aid the families.

They are to be congratulated and thanked, because domestic violence is something most of would prefer simply to ignore. If it's not my family, we think, then it doesn't affect me.

But that is far from true.

Consider that more than 100 Nevada residents have been killed in domestic violence in the last four years. Their ages ranged from infant to 75 years old. Twenty were children.

About one-fifth of all homicide cases in Nevada involve family members. Children are present in almost four in 10 cases of domestic violence.

Think of the time, effort and resources wasted in our society dealing with this chronic crime. More important, though, think of the damage done to our future generations.

Advocates to End Domestic Violence carries an optimistic name, because we doubt we'll live to see the day domestic violence comes to an end. Nevertheless it's an admirable goal, and one Advocates can indeed seek to accomplish one family at a time.


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