"Domestic Violence is a cancer. It is growing, infiltrating and eating away at our society," said a spokesperson for the White River Women's Shelter. "It destroys our families and leaves devastation in its path. Physical, mental and sexual abuse leaves lifetime scars." According to the spokesperson, there are varying degrees of domestic violence, but usually begins with mild abuse, but escalates with time. There are no socioeconomic barriers, according to the spokesperson as domestic violence is found even in the upper and extremely affluent class as well as the low and middle classes. "Onlooker's too often think, 'why doesn't the victims just leave?' It's not quite that simple," says the spokesperson. "A number of tactics the abuser uses to keep the victim under their control is why they stay. When you understand how the mind of the abuser works and all the tools they use to accomplish their mission, you can then find compassion for the victim and understand why they don't leave." According to these U.S. statistics provided by the White River Women's Shelter, children are the ones who suffer the most. 1. Three-million kids witness domestic violence in the home yearly. 2. Boys living in domestic violence homes are twice as likely to be abusers. 3. Girls living in domestic violence are twice as likely to become victims. 4. Daughters at risk of sexual abuse are 6.5 times greater than in non-abusive homes. 5. 80-percent of child fatalities within a domestic violence family are attributed to fathers or father figures. 6. Older kids are frequently assaulted when they intervene to protect or defend their mother or siblings. 7. Child abuse occurs 30 to 60 percent in domestic violence homes. 8. The more severe the abuse of the mother, the worse the child abuse is. 9. Approximately 65 percent of young men in prison are there because they killed their father or father figure to protect their mother. "October is Domestic Violence Month," said the spokesperson. "White River Women's Shelter is making a special effort his month to spread the word about domestic violence to help our community become more award, and hopefully in the process get people involved in helping us fight domestic violence." The White River Women's Shelter will be submitted articles to the Newport Independent throughout the month focusing on domestic violence and it's effects. They are looking to have a website operational in the near future and will announce the address at a later date. You may contact the shelter 24/7, for help or information, at 870-523-5000 or call the Domestic Peace office at 870-523-5403 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Firday.