LITTLE ROCK — The state attorney general’s office is joining an effort to help victims of domestic abuse secretly locate shelters in the state.

Attorney General Dustin McDaniel and representatives from Walmart and the Arkansas Coalition Against Domestic Violence launched the “End the Silence, End the Violence” campaign today.

Under the initiative, Walmart will place informational posters in women’s restrooms and fitting rooms in its Arkansas stores. The posters will contain tear-off resource cards that women can privately access out of sight of their abusers. The cards provide contact information for a hotline that serves as a statewide referral source for victims of domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking.

Callers to the number, (800) 269-4668, will learn about local resources they can turn to for help, as well as law enforcement and safety options.

Carol Johnston, Walmart regional general manager and vice president, said the effort would “help reduce the tragic toll this quiet villain plays in the health of Arkansans.”

Domestic violence often goes unreported to law enforcement because victims fear for their safety, McDaniel said. The new campaign is an effort to give victims a protected way to seek help, he said.

“In Arkansas last year, 18 women died as a result of domestic abuse. That’s 18 too many of our daughters, sisters and mothers,” the attorney general said in a news release.
Jane Ann Kitna, the coalition’s executive director, said many times domestic abuse victims stay in violent relationships because they feel it’s not safe for them to leave or because they do not think they have another choice.

“Even though victims … may think they’re all alone, they need to know there are people and resources they can use to help them escape a dangerous situation,” Kitna said.
The posters will go up within the next week at Walmart stores across Arkansas.


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