OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — October is recognized as Domestic Violence Awareness month and authorities say they hope to spotlight the problem that many households in Oklahoma face.
Law enforcement officers responded to 24,241 reports of domestic violence in Oklahoma in 2011, according to the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation, an average of one report of domestic abuse every 21.6 minutes in the state.
The agency reported 47 murders were related to domestic abuse in 2011, a decrease from 51 slayings the previous year.
The OSBI said assault and battery was the most common type of offense reported to police and that domestic violence was reported most often on a Sunday.
Cleveland County Sheriff Joe Lester said domestic abuse should never be tolerated and that victims, or people who know a person who is being abused, should seek help immediately.
“Domestic violence hurts too many people,” Lester said.
“Victims often stay because they are afraid of their abuser and the consequences. I urge anyone in an abusive relationship to get out because there are options available and people ready to help them,” Lester said.