Oklahoma's top law enforcement officials take a stand against domestic violence.
It's been all over the national news lately, and Oklahoma's district attorneys know it's a very serious problem in our state. That's why they've come together with a plan to help victims of domestic abuse.
"It's a power and control issue over the person they are in a relationship with," said D.A. Greg Mashburn of District 21. "It's not limited to those partner relationships. It's also just violence against women in general."
The domestic violence cases are something Oklahoma district attorneys are more familiar with now than ever before.
"We unfortunately do have those [domestic murders], not just the punching, hitting, but it has actually carried into taking the life of another human being," Mashburn said.
He and fellow prosecutors with the Oklahoma District Attorneys Association (ODAA) are disturbed by the recent statistics indicating Oklahoma is third in the nation for the number of women murdered by men.
Also, approximately one in four women are victims of domestic violence.
"This is a very serious situation that we face," ODAA President, D.A. Chris Ross said.
In an announcement at the Capitol, ODAA touted the Hopeline program, a partnership between ODAA and Verizon Wireless that provides cell phones to survivors of domestic situations.
"There's a lot of people that don't come forth and don't really seek the help they need, because it's so difficult to talk about," Sherry Knuth of Verizon Wireless said.
So, the district attorneys are collecting old cell phones at their offices. The phones will be refurbished, loaded with free wireless minutes and given to domestic violence shelters.
The idea is to make sure every victim of domestic violence has a way out of the abuse.
"Perhaps, if there were more programs like this, more resources, we could actually prevent it, and that's our ultimate goal," Mashburn said.
Cell phones can be dropped off at any of the 27 district attorney offices in the state.