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October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month

Domestic Violence
Posted at 9:15 PM, Oct 01, 2014
and last updated 2014-10-01 17:25:58-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) - As Domestic Violence Awareness Month gets underway, advocates say battered-women's shelters are full to overflowing.

That's because domestic violence has been all over the news lately, given its role in recent coverage of the National Football League. The spark was a video of Baltimore Ravens star Ray Rice knocking out his then fiancé --- and now wife --- in an Atlantic City elevator.

Tiffany Carr, executive director of the Florida Coalition Against Domestic Violence, says the national attention has had a big effect on local shelters.

"With the additional awareness, which is for unfortunate reasons, but a record number of survivors have reached out for help, asking for emergency shelter," said Carr. "Our shelters are over capacity. There's cots, there's cribs in the hallways."

According to the coalition, more than 108,000 domestic violence crimes were reported to Florida law enforcement last year. But the state's 42 shelters have fewer than two thousand beds.