A public awareness event hoping to bring attention to the important issue of domestic violence in Neshoba County has been planned for Tuesday from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. at the Philadelphia Depot located at 256 West Beacon St.

The event will focus on ways to help identify and support victims of domestic abuse while holding offenders accountable for their actions.

Representatives from local law enforcement agencies and from Care Lodge Domestic Violence Shelter, the only certified domestic violence shelter located in state Highway Patrol District VI that provides services to all of Neshoba County, will be available to discuss domestic violence. The event is open to the public and refreshments will be served.

Domestic Violence is a pattern of behavior used to establish power and control over another person through fear and intimidation, officials said.

" This often includes the threat or use of violence. Domestic violence is a crime that can include physical abuse, emotional abuse, economic abuse, and/or sexual abuse.

Stalking or other harassing behavior is often an integral part of domestic violence. "

According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, one in every four women will experience domestic violence in her lifetime and 85 percent of domestic violence victims are women.

Unfortunately, domestic violence is one of the most chronically underreported crimes. Only approximately one-quarter of all physical assaults, one-fifth of all rapes, and one-half of all stalking perpetuated by intimate partners are reported to police.

Established in 1981, Care Lodge is the only certified domestic violence shelter within east central Mississippi that provides safe shelter and comprehensive services to adult victims of domestic violence and their children, 24 hours a day,seven days a week.

Care Lodge provides services for over 1,000 clients every year and serves the residents of Lauderdale, Clarke, Kemper, Leake, Neshoba, Newton, Noxubee, Scott and Winston counties. Care Lodge is proud to be supported by the United Way of Neshoba County. For more information, please visit www.carelodge.com or call Care Lodge at 601-693-HOPE.