Vicksburg community activists Gina Hendrickson and Emmarie Flaggs hosted a domestic violence awareness luncheon and roundtable Tuesday at the Biscuit Company.
Hendrickson and Flaggs were joined by judges, police officers, pastors other influential people in the community who deal with domestic violence on a daily basis.
Flaggs expressed the importance of knowing about domestic violence, and emphasized that everyone can find support locally in Vicksburg.
“If you are still here, you have a purpose,” Flaggs said, addressing those who have been victimized by domestic violence.
The roundtable covered topics related to the issue, including the mental, emotional and physical stress that domestic violence causes in a household.
Hendrickson shared her personal history of domestic violence and urged people in violent relationships to reach out to friends for support. Restraining orders do not always work against abusers, she said.
The luncheon also featured people who help domestic violence victims including representatives from Haven House and Positive Pathways.
Domestic violence crosses all socio-economic boundaries, and affects people from all walks of life. Vicksburg has seen its share of residents killed as a result of domestic violence Warren County Judge Marcie Southerland pointed out.
It also affects children, not only taking a toll on them now, but affecting how they respond in the future. Domestic violence tends to be cyclical in families when children grow up thinking that it’s normal.
“Always think about the children because childhood issues turn into adulthood issues,” Flaggs said.
To view the full round table discussion, visit Emmarie Flaggs Facebook page.
If you are a victim of domestic violence in Vicksburg, call 911 if you need immediate assistance.
If you need shelter and other types of assistance, call Mountain of Faith at 601-501-4508 or Haven House at 601-638-0555.