Speak for those who feel they can’t

Consider it a call to action.

In Ohio alone, there were more than 70,000 calls reporting domestic violence in 2006. An even darker number, however, exists in the amount of domestic violence cases that go unreported.

Families are broken. Emotions are shattered. Lives are ruined. Voices are silenced.

But you can help change that by donating an old cell phone. In an effort to protect people from domestic violence, Townhall II is accepting unwanted cell phones that can be charged and used to dial 911 in case of an emergency. The cell phones can be dropped off at Townhall II’s office on North Water Street.

Nobody deserves violence. Nobody deserves to live in fear. Nobody deserves to be without a voice.

Domestic violence is a topic rarely discussed. It seemingly exists only on paper until it happens directly in front of us. Domestic violence, however, goes much deeper than that between a man and a woman. Although not always officially recognized, domestic violence is a problem that permeates society.

It’s true — a majority of those affected by domestic violence are women, but the problem stems much further than that. Don’t fall into the myth that women are only abused by their spouses. After all, parents have been abused by their children, men are abused by their partners, children have been abused by their parents and the list goes on.

Each time someone is charged with domestic violence and it appears in our police blotter, our hearts sink a little. But at least those affected by the abuse were strong enough to report it.

Our hearts are aching even more for the names that don’t appear in the blotter. They ache for those too scared to report the abuse. They ache for those who think the abuse they’ve suffered is their fault.

As a society, we must learn to treat those suffering from the wrath of domestic violence as human beings. These people are not to blame. It’s not always easy to run or make that phone call for help.

The least we can do is donate that old, dust-covered cell phone buried at the bottom of our desk drawer. But we can also spread the word about domestic violence. Can’t we just speak a little louder and give a voice to those who think they don’t have one?

The above editorial is the consensus of the Daily Kent Stater editorial board.