By Megan Hansen/Around & About editor

By the time you finish reading this sentence, a woman will have been beaten by her intimate partner. According to FBI statistics, one woman is beaten every nine seconds in the United States. Every day 9,600 women will become victims of domestic abuse. Each week over 67,000 women are abused. Somewhere between three and four million women are abused each year.

It is estimated that half of all relationships across the country will have at least one incident of domestic abuse, while a third of all relationships will have ongoing abuse.

According to the National Violence Against Women Survey, nearly one-forth of all women in the United States will be raped or physically assaulted by the current or former spouse, boyfriend or date sometime in their lives. Thirty percent of Americans know a woman who has been beaten by her husband or boyfriend in the last year.

In Madison County alone 240 women become victims of sexual assault, battery or rape each year.

“Domestic abuse is pushed off to the side. No one wants to talk about it,” said Jessica Terrell, director of community service for Chi Omega. “You shouldn’t hide it or be ashamed of it.”

Today Chi Omega is sponsoring Domestic Violence Awareness Day.

“We want to make people aware that domestic violence is a problem,” Terrell said.

Chi Omega will have a booth set up outside the Powell Building, where members will be handing out brochures and making people aware of the problems of domestic violence.

About three years ago Chi Omega was involved with domestic violence awareness and prevention. Members wanted to get involved with the cause again.

“We decided we would make domestic violence our big thing this spring,” she said.

Chi Omega participates in Take Back the Night and Walk for Wishes to raise awareness for domestic violence.

During Domestic Violence Awareness Day Chi Omega will also be having sign-ups for their basketball tournament they will be hosting April 17-18. The tournament will raise money for domestic violence awareness.

“We will have a Greek tournament champion as well as an independent tournament champion,” Terrell said. “We want to get people fired up with this basketball tournament.”

This is the first time Chi Omega has sponsored a Domestic Violence Awareness Day or has hosted a basketball tournament to raise money for their cause.

“The money we make in the basketball tournament will go to buying supplies for the local shelters for battered women,” Terrell said.

If you are a victim of domestic abuse, you can receive local assistance by calling 1-800-544-2022. This number is a 24-hour emergency hotline.

“We want people to know you aren’t alone if you’re in an abusive relationship,” Terrell said.

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