Onslow County campaign to address domestic violence underway

Onslow County campaign to address domestic violence underway

JACKSONVILLE, ONSLOW COUNTY - A Jacksonville women's shelter has more motivation to reach women in abusive relationships after two domestic violence shootings this weekend, including one that was fatal.

Junie Christian, the director of the Onslow Women's Center, said the county has had a domestic violence-related fatality every year since 2009. He and the Onslow Women's Center Board are starting a public relations campaign to end that trend.

The death of 31-year-old Jordan Skaggs --who deputies said was shot and killed by her husband Sunday-- is giving the Onslow Women's Center Board more motivation to get the public relations campaign going.

"The rainbow is so much more beautiful on the other side once you get through the dark days," said Christian.

This effort would reach out to women experiencing violence in their relationships to try and encourage them to seek help before it's too late. Right now, the Onslow Women's Center is deciding how to advertise their resources for women who need help.

"What are young people looking at-- if it's Facebook, we want to reach you on Facebook. If it's a public announcement, we want to reach you on a public announcement. If it's billboards on 24 as you're leaving and going into Camp Lejeune, you know if it's on your way out to Richlands. Wherever it is that we can get you information," said Christian.

Jacksonville Police Chief Michael Yaniero has seen his share of domestic violence cases. He is also on the Onslow Women's Center Board.

The campaign encourages women to seek help sooner than later because abuse tends to worsen over time.

"The statistics show that when the spouse leaves the abuser, the most likely time for them to be killed is during that time," said Yaniero.

Yaniero said this campaign that is yet to be named is a step toward intervention, but it will take the entire community to succeed.

"When you look at the homicide statistics and you look at the reasons for those homicides, a large portion of them are related to some kind of domestic disturbance or domestic violence-- and if we can stop that, if we can stop that, we can really have an impact on homicide rates and we can have an impact on families, on children, on everybody if we can stop domestic violence," said Yaniero.

The Onslow Women's Center can call a taxi cab or police for you or find a way to get you help.

Right now, the Onslow Women's Center is researching ways to best reach women ages 15 to 44 who are most likely to be in an abusive relationship. They're also doing community outreach through Facebook, events and festivals.

The Onslow Women's Center has a 24-hour crisis line: 910-347-4000. They offer everything from counseling to crisis intervention to support groups.

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