Although our town has little crime, crimes such as domestic violence have remained constant over many years. Domestic violence is New Canaan’s violent crime.

If you live in New Canaan and you are the victim of violence, it is highly probable that the perpetrator is someone that you love.

Domestic violence is both a national and an intimately local problem that knows no boundaries. Most cases of domestic violence are never reported to the police.

According to former Attorney General Janet Reno: “Too many American women live in fear of the very people upon whom they depend for love and affection. Instead of providing refuge, the walls of many homes serve as prison bars.”

Thus far in 2017, our department investigated 48 family disputes, and many of these investigations resulted in arrests. To be clear, not all of these incidents are classified as domestic violence. It is likely that the prevalence of domestic violence in our town is much greater than what is reported due to chronic under-reporting by victims.

Domestic violence can happen to anyone in any community regardless of age, economic status, race, religion, gender, nationality or educational background. We need to work together on both preventing domestic violence and to get help for those in our community that are victims of domestic violence.

October is Domestic Violence awareness month, and it is important to bring more awareness about what domestic violence is and how it can be stopped.

What is domestic violence?

Domestic violence is the willful intimidation, physical assault, battery, sexual assault, and other abusive behavior perpetrated by an intimate partner against another. Domestic violence often involves emotionally abusive and controlling behavior that is a part of a pattern of dominance and control.

If you believe you are the victim of domestic violence, report this crime to our department. Our department investigates domestic violence crimes that occur in New Canaan, and when appropriate, we notify and coordinate domestic violence investigations for incidents that occur outside of New Canaan.

What can you do to be safe?

Contact our department for help: Call 911 and we will help. When you call, tell us everything the abuser did. We will help you and your children leave your home safely. We will arrest your abuser if there is evidence of a crime. We will provide you with information on domestic violence programs and help. We wi ll do our best to protect you.

Get support from friends and family: Tell your supportive family, friends, co-workers or clergy what has happened and rely upon them during an emergency.

Get medical help: If you are hurt, go to the hospital, your doctor or call 911.

Get a protective or restraining order: Our officers can explain how you can get a protective order or restraining order that may help keep you safe.

Create a safety plan: Plan what to do before you feel unsafe.

Follow us on Twitter @newcanaanpolice and on the web at newcanaanpolice.org.

Be better informed, connected, and send anonymous tips to our department by downloading the “MYPD” application in the iPhone or Android marketplace. After downloading the application, search for “New Canaan” get connected and then go to “submit a tip.”

Leon M. Krolikowski is the New Canaan chief of police.