Editor's note: If you or someone you know experiences domestic violence, The Family Shelter of Southern Oklahoma offers services, including counseling and crisis services. The 24 hour Crisis Hotline number is (580) 226-6424.

It’s takes an entire community to support and assist domestic violence victims. In the Ardmore area alone, there were more than 150 domestic violence crisis calls within the last three months.
Law enforcement, counselors, mental health workers, prosecutors, community members and all organizations in contact with victims need to be aware of domestic violence and what victims are facing so they can be helped as efficiently as possible, said Family Shelter of Southern Oklahoma Director Kathy Manning.
On Friday, Oct. 11, individuals will have a chance to learn about domestic violence dynamics, self-defense, trauma-informed interviewing, stalking awareness and investigation, and investigation on strangulation at the shelter’s Evidence Based Domestic Violence Training.
The training will run from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Southern Oklahoma Tech Center, located at 2610 Sam Noble Parkway, and will be presented by Purple Badge Consulting, a group of trained practitioners who have had real-world experience assisting domestic violence victims in multiple facets.
“We have had trainings similar to this, but not to this extent,” Manning said. “These guys are training everywhere. They’re top-notch and we fought to get them down here. We always need more training, including us. Training on topics like this, you just can’t get enough of it.”

Domestic violence is prevalent not only within the local community, but across the nation, Manning said. Three out of four people know someone — man or woman — who is currently being effected by or has been effected by domestic violence; and those are only based on the reported numbers.

“It is something that is happening everywhere and we need people to know how to respond to it,” Manning said. “To know how to be a support to it and to know where to point that person when they come to them. That’s why it’s important for the community to attend.”

Without starting a conversation about domestic violence, Manning said the cycle of domestic violence that sometimes runs through generations of families will only continue. “We as a community and as a nation need to talk more about domestic violence,” she said.

Individuals can attend the training without registering beforehand, however, RSVPs are encouraged to ensure there is enough space, Manning said.

To RSVP, call 580-226-3750 or email lovecoadvocate@cableone.net. The training is also CLEET approved and those in attendance will receive eight CLEET hours and two Mental Health hours.