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Building safe communities in Columbia County

As a state representative, it is important that I use my voice in Salem to speak up for survivors of domestic violence in my district.

Rep. Brad Witt, D-Clatskanie This past legislative session saw great strides for the protection of survivors’ rights and prevention of violence in all forms.

I was proud to support measures providing vital safety resources for those fleeing violence, as well as much--needed funding for proven prevention curriculum. The prevention education that SAFE of Columbia County delivers has been shown to reduce the likelihood of domestic and sexual violence in adulthood. My hope is that we are raising a generation of young people that build healthy relationships, respect each other, and break the cycle of abuse and oppression in all forms.

I support SAFE of Columbia County and its mission to empower survivors of abuse to build a healthier, safer community. You should, too.

Last year, Columbia County’s domestic and sexual violence victims agency, SAFE of Columbia County, took over 1,000 calls on its 24-hour help line and provided shelter for 99 women and their children as they fled violence, as well as provided countless other services to hundreds of survivors.

As a community, we need to send a clear message that oppression and violence are not tolerated here in beautiful Columbia County. By starting upstream and giving young people the skills to develop healthy, respectful relationships, we are moving in the right direction.

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. It's a good time to talk about this uncomfortable topic. We must honestly take stock of where we are and commit to a culture of respect and a future free from violence.