The best friend of Family Abuse is denial. The best way to have family abuse run rampant in our community is to deny its existence. Of course we all know that just by denying something exists doesn’t mean it does not exist. It only means that by our denial we refuse to do anything about it! On the other hand the quickest way to get something changed in our community is to educate and raise community awareness of the problem. The problem, in this case, is family abuse also known as domestic violence. Denial can occur in the actual victim. She or he is in denial that what they may be experiencing from their husband/wife/intimate partner is not abuse. They may feel that the behavior towards them is normal. Or they may want to get help but feel ashamed. Some know being physically abused is wrong but fear if they (the victim) acknowledge it then they will have to do something about it. That can be very frightening for that victim. Sometimes the fear of leaving can seem to be greater than the fear of staying, especially if there is not a strong support base. Denial can also occur in the abuser. He/she may be in complete denial that they are abusive to their spouse or children. Then, of course, denial can and does happen in the community at large. This happens sometimes because of shame. Some communities just don’t want to acknowledge that someone they know is either the abuser or the abused. After all, they’ve known that individual all their lives. They’re good people…on and on the excuses can go. Then again sometimes folks in the community know abuse is going on but just don’t know what to do. We can help! All of the above can and are reasons why family abuse or domestic violence may not be being addressed in our county. That’s where Off the Beaten Path Ministries, Inc. comes in. We want to help! In order to make a positive change in the quality of the lives of families in our county we must make ourselves aware, then take the necessary steps to bring that change. If you need help, or if you suspect someone you know is being abused please don’t just do nothing. What you do or fail to do could be a matter of life or death. We need to realize that domestic violence is not a government problem. It’s not a state problem. It is a community problem! After all, communities are made up of families, right? Our Board of Directors are: President & Founder, Dee Vickery; Secretary, Jane Carter; Treasurer, Carl Carter; Board members, Missy King and Mirla Reyes. We are here for you to help in any way we can! Call us! (325) 372-3276.