Lawmakers and advocates for victims of domestic violence sent a strong message on Valentine’s Day. They say it’s no coincidence they chose this day to take a stand.
“We are here because love shouldn’t hurt,” says Mary Jane Foster, Interval House’s President and CEO.
Interval House is the state’s largest domestic violence agency who says the need for their services continues to grow. Last year, they helped thousands of clients and took more than 3,000 hotline calls.
“What we are seeing today is an uptick in not only physical but sexual psychological abuse in relationships,” says Foster.
Foster says one of groups they are the most concerned about are teens and young couples, and adds that you don’t have to look too far to see examples of it.
“We can honor Valerie Reyes…who when she broke of her boyfriend she was murdered. Her ankles and wrists were bound she was stuffed in a suitcase and dropped outside in a woods Ian Greenwich last week....this is serious,” says Foster.
This Valentine’s Day they want to remind individuals to learn how to recognize signs of abuse, but also continue working with lawmakers to pass legislation that protects the victim. The latest one that went into effect was just last month, it was a law that gives officers more discretion on who they arrest in domestic violence cases.