5-K run to raise awareness of domestic violence

Crime Tracker sheds some light on a rampant problem in the Mid-South, domestic violence. Organizers hope a 5-K run this Saturday will raise awareness of a crime that occurs more often than you might think.

More than half of all calls to 9-1-1 are related to domestic violence. Here's how the numbers add up. Memphis Police and Shelby County Deputies respond to 14 thousand 500 calls involving domestic violence annually. Research shows four times that many cases go unreported. Experts say that eighty percent of the time, children witness domestic violence. Thirty percent of the time, they're victims of punches, kicks or worse. Mary Thorsberg, Asst. District Attorney said, "So this is a problem that's going on to the next generation. The children are learning it at home. They're growing up. They think this is the way to resolve conflict and we're sending it right out into the future."

Just last month, the Shelby County Commission voted to restore funding for a federal grant that expired that paid one of the five domestic violence prosecutors. The loss of that federal grant money did hurt Memphis' system of dealing with domestic violence by cutting staff---at Citizen Dispute---for example---where one goes to swear out a warrant. Bill Bond, Asst. District Attorney said, "They don't have as many people as we used to. We now only have one person working as a victim advocate. So it did have an affect."

The 5K run to stop domestic violence will be held at Overton Park Saturday. Registration begins at 8 o'clock and the run goes at 9. Proceeds from this event will benefit agencies that respond to the consequences of domestic violence such as the Child Advocacy Center, the YWCA and Family Services. The Exchange Club of Memphis will also benefit from the 5-K. That agency offers 17 programs aimed at helping abusers and their victims recover from the trauma of domestic violence.