In addition to being Sexual Assault Awareness Month, April is also Public Health Month. Those of us living in Orange County are lucky to be living in the second healthiest county of the state. In many ways this is due to the many services and initiatives of the Orange County Health Department. One of their active programs is “Healthy Carolinians of Orange County”, network of agencies and individuals working to promote health and wellness and to reduce health disparities. At FVPC we see domestic violence as a public health issue. Partner abuse can lead to increases in STI contraction, unwanted pregnancies, and other physical and mental health complications. Domestic Violence has a severe negative health impact on the community and understanding this leads to an increase in awareness of signs of domestic violence as well as primary prevention programs to stop this abuse before it starts.
Healthy Carolinians recognizes the impact of domestic violence on health and wellness and is working to raise awareness by hosting Brown-Bag-Lunch-Seminars to the community which focus on recognition and response to domestic violence. According to their website, “Over 22 brown-bag-lunches and six domestic violence trainings have been held since 2003, and over 600 individuals have been trained.” Thank you to all of you at the Health Department and to those of you who have attended their seminars and/or trainings. We would encourage our readers, in the spirit of Public Health Month, to explore the volunteer opportunities available at OCHD.