ODMHSAS: ODMHSA Partners with Palomar, During Domestic Violence Awareness Month, to Promote Services for Domestic Violence Victims

ODMHSAS Partners with Palomar, During Domestic Violence Awareness Month, to Promote Services for Domestic Violence Victims

Published: September 29, 2023

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The Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (ODMHSAS) is proud to partner with Palomar, a leading Family Justice Center, to provide comprehensive support services to victims of domestic violence. During October, Domestic Violence Awareness Month, both groups aim to spread awareness about current programs and resources that offer essential assistance and resources to those in need. According to the Oklahoma Attorney General’s Office, Oklahoma ranks 2nd in the nation for women killed in single victim-single offender incidents in the United States.

We encourage Oklahomans to see and know the signs of intimate partner abuse, which can be found in an ODMHSAS training, located here.

The partnership between ODMHSAS and Palomar reflects our dedication to creating a safer environment for all Oklahomans who have experienced the devastating effects of domestic violence. Together, we can support victims now and tomorrow.

In times of crisis, victims can contact the Oklahoma Safe Line at 1-800-522-SAFE (7233) to connect with a trained advocate or dial 911 if they face immediate danger. Additionally, survivors of intimate partner violence are encouraged to utilize 988, Oklahoma’s Mental Health Lifeline, which helps not only in the immediate aftermath but also assists those seeking help in the years that follow. This invaluable resource is free and confidential, available to all Oklahomans 24/7 via phone or text.

Commissioner Carrie Slatton-Hodges of ODMHSAS stated, “Our partnership with Palomar marks a significant step in providing crucial support to those affected by domestic violence in Oklahoma. By offering wraparound services, across Oklahoma, and a network of caring professionals, we aim to break the cycle of abuse and empower survivors on their path to healing.”

Tricia Everest, Chair of the Palomar Board, added, “At Palomar, we are dedicated to creating a safe haven for survivors, where they can access all the services they need under one roof. Our partnership with ODMHSAS strengthens our collective ability to offer comprehensive assistance, giving survivors the hope and resources they deserve.”

“Oklahoma’s high rate of domestic violence is unconscionable and intolerable,” said Oklahoma Attorney General Gentner Drummond. “Only by all of us working together can we protect victims and their families. While my office and I are committed to reducing incidents of domestic violence, it is also critical that organizations like Oklahoma City’s Palomar and Tulsa’s Family Safety Center are making a positive and enduring difference for survivors.”

The Victim Services Unit supports crime victims and their families by providing information, connection to local services and direct assistance throughout the criminal process. Oklahoma’s Attorney General is committed to ensuring victims know their rights and are treated with the utmost respect. The need for such collaborative efforts between agencies is underscored by data from the 2021 Oklahoma Domestic Violence Fatality Review Board Annual Report:

  • Total fatalities: 138
  • 119 victims and 19 perpetrator deaths
  • 46 victims of intimate partner homicide (IPH), with 69.5% being female
  • 52 victims were killed by family members, including 14 children.
  • Disproportionate impact on the Black and Native American communities, primarily women.
  • Firearms were identified as the cause of 68.8% of domestic violence-related fatalities.

Domestic abuse is not limited to physical violence; it encompasses controlling, coercive, threatening, or degrading behavior, including sexual violence, emotional/mental abuse, economic abuse, sexual abuse/coercion, and digital abuse.

ODMHSAS, Palomar and a domestic violence survivor are available for interviews on Monday, October 2nd at 3:30 p.m. 

About Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services: ODMHSAS is committed to promoting healthy communities and providing the highest quality behavioral health services to individuals and families across Oklahoma.

About Palomar: Palomar is a Family Justice Center in Oklahoma City dedicated to providing a comprehensive, coordinated response to victims of domestic violence, child abuse, sexual assault, stalking, elder abuse and human trafficking. Through partnerships with various agencies, Palomar offers a safe and supportive environment for survivors to access essential services.