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Group hopes to change the conversation around domestic violence

Posted at 10:55 PM, Oct 29, 2019

INDIANAPOLIS — Two groups gathered on Tuesday in Indianapolis and hoped to change the way people talk about domestic violence.

Put together by Auntie Mame's Child Development Center and Indiana Healthy Marriage and Family Coalition, Inc., the two groups held a community conversation about domestic violence Tuesday evening at the 38th Street Library. Their hope is to change how we talk about domestic violence, making it a topic that isn't stigmatized.

Marta Bell, a retired Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department detective, helped start the department's domestic violence unit 19 years ago. She said the unit was very much needed.

"Nobody deserves to live an inhumane life and abuse is inhumane treatment," Bell said.

Bell was joined by four other panelists: Anita Akers, detective, IMPD Domestic Violence Unit; Pamela Grant-Taylor, attorney, Marion County Public Defender Agency, Domestic Violence Unit; Kimberly Huizinga, deputy prosecutor, Marion County Prosecutor's Office, Domestic Violence Unit; Melody McGuire, executive director, Auntie Mame's Child Development Center.

All the panelists stressed, domestic violence is a complex issue with each situation being different.

For victims, the biggest thing, according to the panelists, is knowing it's ok to talk about your abuse with someone you trust.

"It doesn't just effect the abuser and the person being abused, it effects their children," Bell said. "It effects their family, their employment. It just effects the community as a whole."

If you need help getting out of an abusive relationship or know someone dealing with domestic violence, you can call the National Domestic Violence hotline at 1-800-799-7233 or visit their website. You can also find help and resources on the Indiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence's website.