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National DV Awareness Month

Since 1989, October has been de- signated as National Domestic Violence Awareness Month. It reminds us to acknowledge survivors of domestic violence and speak up for its victims.

Unfortunately, our community has seen two heartbreaking, deadly domestic violence cases in just the last month, both which left young children traumatized and parentless.

  •  On Sept. 18, a DeLand woman and her son were killed in their home due to an ongoing dispute with a family member. Children in the home may have witnessed the violence. The defendant was arrested and held in jail with no bond allowed.
  • On Oct. 17, a husband killed his wife and then himself in a murder-suicide in Deltona. The husband had a previous arrest for domestic violence against his wife in Orlando. The murder was witnessed by at least one of three children in the house. That child ran to a neighbor for help, and thankfully none of the kids were physically injured.


We as a community will stand behind these innocent kids and families and make sure they have the resources they need.

Domestic violence often includes a larger, systematic pattern of emotional abuse, dominance, and control. The pain and trauma of domestic violence can last a lifetime.
Sadly, domestic violence is prevalent in every community and affects people of every age, socio-economic status, gender, race, religion, sexual orientation, or nationality. Domestic violence can result in physical injury, psychological trauma, and even death.

Even though we’ve made progress in reducing domestic violence, statistics show there are more than 10 million abuse victims annually in the United States. Every day, millions of people—children and adults—live in silent fear within their own homes.

The domestic violence calls handled by the Sheriff’s Office this year (through Oct. 8) show a 10 percent increase over the same timeframe in 2021:

Domestic violence calls for service:

  • Jan. 1, 2022 – Oct. 8, 2022: 1,152
  • Jan. 1, 2021 – Oct. 8, 2021: 1,048

Stories and statistics are heartbreaking.

There are caring organizations and people in Volusia County and across Florida who can help victims of domestic violence escape abusive relationships and empower them to become survivors.

Anyone who is in an abusive relationship—as well as friends, family members, and other community members—can contact any domestic violence center through 24-hour hotlines.

If you, your children, or grandchildren live in an abusive situation, here are some resources that can help:

  • In Volusia County, the Beacon Center provides a 24-hour domestic violence hotline at 386.255.2102. Services include emergency shelter, financial independence training, and programs for children. Visit for more information.
  • Florida’s statewide, 24/7 domestic violence hotline is 800.500.1119. Free and confidential legal advice is available for any survivor from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday.
  • Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody offers victims’ services on her website, Also offered is a list of local domestic violence services, including safe shelters and abuse counseling. Many nonprofits now offer telephone counseling and video sessions for victims who feel safe enough to use those services.
  • The National Domestic Violence Hotline is available 24/7 in all languages at 800.799.SAFE (7233). You can text “START” to 88788 or

You can always contact 911 to report domestic violence.

If you can’t safely make a phone call, you can even send a text to 911.  Texting during an emergency could be helpful if a voice call to 911 might be dangerous or impossible. Re-member: You cannot text message to 911 without a service contract that has texting.

The Volusia Sheriff’s Office is committed to caring for our community and bringing the resources needed to stay safe.
Sheriff Chitwood