Shocking ads bring domestic violence to forefront

Shocking ads bring domestic violence to forefront

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

Domestic violence is a crime that knows no social, economic or racial boundaries. The victims reluctant, or too afraid to get help. But, one Chicago woman who runs a shelter for battered women believes some new advertisements sweeping the internet might help.

Some of the ads--compiled in a list on Buzzfeed from countries around the world--are violent and shocking, but the reality is, domestic violence goes on in homes across Chicago and the suburbs where it's even more troubling because it's real.

One ad, a dramatization out of England aims to encourage people to call police if they are aware of a battering situation because the ad says nearly one out of every five murders in Britain is the result of domestic violence.

Seeing the ad had Clara Kirk shaking her head with sadness. Kirk has seen plenty of real cases of battered women at the shelter she's run in Englewood for more than three decades.

Kirk believes people don't call police if they know what's going on in their neighbor's house "because of the fact if they call 911, the police come to the door and knock on the door, ‘Did anyone call me? No. No one called you.' And the police leave."

Kirk found many of the ads disturbing. Another one from Germany is a dramatization focusing on the excuse women often make to cover up the abuse: I fell down the stairs.

She says excuses are common among victims who are ashamed of what's happened to them, and often they feel to blame.

"The average one lies, living in a world if you see them and say what happened to your eye, Oh, I ran into a door, I fell, I got hit in the eye, one of the kids, it's always a lie," Kirk says.

Veronica Jones knows it can be difficult for victims to leave their abusers, but she got out after the first time.

"My husband had come home one day wanting supper and I told him that I wasn't going to cook, so he got mad and done this. He cut me on my right arm…with a knife," Jones recalls.

She hopes ads like these can encourage other victims to get out of abusive situations before it's too late.

Chicago Police say they try to do what they can, responding to what are often the most dangerous calls officers can go on.

"Even if we get to the scene and the victim is reluctant to speak what's happened, or is in denial or doesn't want to have anything to do with the law enforcement process, as a department, our job and our focus is on victim safety and officer safety, so we train our officers to still do their job," says Chicago Police's Sandra Wortham.

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