Hubbard House, JSO work to protect domestic violence victims


JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and the issue is highlighted this year at a time when people are talking about the video that came out last month showing former Baltimore Ravens' running back Ray Rice.

Rice is seen punching his now-wife and dragging her out of an elevator.

"The whole Ray Rice incident, there will be good that comes out of it because people are talking," said Ellen Siler, chief executive officer of the Hubbard House in Jacksonville.

The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office has also joined the conversation.

"To somehow believe that you are responsible for these beatings, that's not true," Sheriff John Rutherford said. "Nobody has the right to do that for anybody."

There have been eight deaths in Jacksonville from domestic violence so far this year. It's a crime many say is preventable.

The Hubbard House is a place where people seek help from domestic violence. It's help that can save lives.

"We see women coming in beaten down and we see them leave standing tall, and it's a wonderful transformation to see," Siler said.

Edwina Robinson knows just how devastating domestic violence can be. Her daughter was abused and ultimately killed by her husband.

"Talk to somebody," Robinson said. "If you can't get your parent, a police officer, somebody in the store. But at least tell someone the situation you are facing."

The city has a program for domestic violence victims called INVEST. For help, call the program at 904-630-6300, or call the hotline number for the Hubbard House at 1-800-500-1119. If it's an emergency situation, call 911.

The Hubbard House has a 20th annual breakfast at 7:30 a.m. Oct. 15. For more information, go to its website.

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