Texas County presiding commissioner Fred Stenger signs a proclamation designating October as Raising Awareness of Domestic Violence Month. Each October, representatives of Christos House Shelter and Outreach Program visit the county seats of the eight counties served by the organization, and county commissioners sign a proclamation. The message in the proclamation is designed to remind people that the crime of domestic violence is not confined to any specific group or people, but affects people of all races, background, economic levels, education levels, family structures, ages and religions. Missouri State Highway Patrol statistics from 2015 indicate that there were 44,278 domestic violence incidents and 30 domestic violence homicides in the state. Missouri domestic violence shelters provided space for more than 10,000 adults, youth and children, but were forced to turn away more than 17,500 others due to lack of space. Cristos House outreach advocate Rita Foster said the crime of domestic violence violates citizens’ privacy, dignity, security and humanity in the form of physical, emotional, sexual, psychological and economic abuse, and that the proclamation is declared for the purpose of encouraging advocates, professionals, volunteers and community members concerned with domestic violence to devote October to efforts in raising awareness about the causes, interventions and prevention of the crime. For more information, call Foster at 417-252-0829. Next to Stenger is county commissioner Linda Garrett. Standing are, from left, Foster, commissioner John Casey, shelter supervisor Kelli Neel and advocate Tomacita Roybal-Hagen.