GREEN COVE SPRINGS, Fla. – The Clay County Sheriff's Office and Quigley House, a domestic violence shelter, held a joint meeting Monday, which marked the beginning of Sexual Assault Awareness Month.
Sheriff Darryl Daniels stood alongside representatives from Quigley House, who said domestic violence incidents often go unreported.
"To those victims, today, we want to tell you, you are not alone. We are here for you," said Anna Martinez-Mullen, CEO of Quigley House. "We have advocates that are highly trained and specialized and available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Actions define us, but most importantly, they shape the world around us. Speaking out against violence is necessary to end this epidemic and we ask you today to join us in ending violence in our community."
Although men are not always the perpetrator, the sheriff had a stern warning for men everywhere.
"In Clay County, we take a stance on crime. Sexual assault and domestic violence -- that's a crime, too. And we're just as firm and committed to preventing that crime just like any crime in Clay County. For those that can't keep your hands off significant others, your days are numbered," Daniels said. "I'm sick and tired of guys putting their hands on females. That's a problem not only in Clay County, but across this country. When I grew up, men didn't do that."
To learn more about domestic violence or get help, the following resources are available:
- Hubbard House (Baker and Duval counties): hubbardhouse.org or 904-354-3114
- Micah's Place (Nassau County): micahsplace.org or 904-225-9979
- Betty Griffin Center (St. Johns County): bettygriffincenter.org or 904-824-1555
- Quigley House (Clay County): quigleyhouse.org or 904-284-0061
- Lee Conlee House (Putnam County): leeconleehouse.org or 386-325-3141
- Peaceful Paths (Bradford, Alachua and Union counties): peacefulpaths.org or 352-377-8255
- National Domestic Violence Hotline: thehotline.org or 1-800-799-7233
There are resources available if you or someone you know is the victim of rape. To speak with someone immediately, call the 24-hour rape crisis hotline at 904-721-7273.
- The Women's Center of Jacksonville at 5644 Colcord Ave. is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.
- Baker County residents can visit the Macclenny location at 418 S. 8th St. from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.
- In Fernandina Beach, the Weaver Center offers crisis assistance at 1303 Jasmine St. from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Monday and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday.
- Also in Nassau County, Micah's Place is available for crisis assistance at 904-225-9979.