Tampa Bay doctor discusses domestic violence

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TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – October is domestic violence awareness month and many groups in our area have raised awareness and funds to support domestic violence victims.

According to the National Network to End Domestic Violence, nationwide, three women die a day from domestic violence.

Doctor Wesley Jennings specializes in domestic violence prevention and says there are many reasons why people stay in a bad relationship.

“A lot of times they stay for embarrassment or fear or literally for the financial and for the children and for the child custody issues,” Dr. Jennings said.

Doctor Jennings said one of the biggest problems with domestic violence is that no one wants to talk about it.

“A lot of that happens behind closed doors in couple’s households and families households. It’s kind of a taboo thing to talk about,” Dr. Jennings said.

But it’s something that should be talked about.

“These kinds of events can quickly escalate because there is so much passion and intimacy involved, it can go from zero to sixty very fast and result in death for the victim,” Dr. Jennings said.

Doctor Jennings is compelled to help people get out of these situations and says you can easily help too.

“There’s a lot of indicators for that,”  Dr. Jennings said. “Primarily people that may be more reserved. If you notice quick and sudden changes in someone’s behavior or personality in school and in work that could be an indicator.”

As domestic violence awareness month wraps up, Doctor Jennings says everyone must keep working to end the violence. If not, he says the problem will persist for generations to come.

“Those children and youth who are exposed to the behavior from witnessing their dad beat mom or their mom beat dad are also more likely to perpetrate the behavior.”

If you or someone you know needs help, there are many local agencies that can  and will assist you. You can visit http://nnedv.org/resources.html or call 813-247-SAFE.

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