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Connellsville residents reminded to lock their vehicle doors

| Thursday, Oct. 10, 2013, 6:39 a.m.

Connellsville Police Chief James Capitos told those attending the city's crime watch meeting Wednesday that vehicles are being entered throughout the city.

Capitos reminded vehicle owners to keep their vehicles locked and to keep valuables out of plain site.

Capitos also reminded residents to be on the look out of scammers.

Capitos said there have been no reports of scams in the city but he has received reports from other areas that scammers are going door to door or making phone calls to sell cheap health insurance.

“Do not give them your information,” Capitos said, stressing it doesn't matter how good the deal sounds, it's a scam. “Insurance plans are not $20 a month.”

Jennifer Soisson, community education specialist with Fayette County Domestic Violence Services, gave a presentation explaining the signs of domestic violence.

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

Soisson said domestic abuse can be physical, psychological, emotion and even financial; the abusers or victims can be either men or women from any race, social class or age.

She added that misconceptions exists. It is not a mental illness and not genetic. Other excuses are anger, alcohol and/or drugs, out-of-control behavior, stress or problem with relationships.

“It's a learned behavior,” Soisson said.

Signs and patterns of abuse can be detected by victims showing bruising, hair ripped out, difficulty in mobility, a partner won't let the victim have a change in style, or the victim is isolated.

“They look at one incident and sweep it under the rug,” Soisson said. “They don't look for patterns.”

There are ways to approach someone who may be a victim of domestic abuse, that includes talking discreetly, don't be judgmental, listen and believe them, don't interfere physically and respect their right to refuse help.

“You have to meet them where they're at,” Soisson said. “They're at chapter two, and you want them to be at chapter 10.”

It's also OK to give information like a phone number to call because while a victim will return to an abuser seven to 10 times, every time they return, they return with more information.

Contact information for the Domestic Services of Southwestern Pennsylvania is 724-439-9500 for Fayette County, 724-852-2463 for Green County and 724-223-9190 for Washington County.

Mark Hofmann is a staff writer with Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-626-3539 or mhofmann@tribweb.com.

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