By Jan Schiller, Executive Director, S.H.A.R.E., Inc. Morgan County Domestic Violence Program
For victims of domestic violence, making plans for the holidays – Thanksgiving through News Years Day – often includes trying to figure out how to keep it from turning brutal. Stress can build up during this time of year with increased financial pressure, alcohol consumption, family pressures and more contact with the abuser. Victims can feel very motivated to stay through the holidays because they don’t want to break up families at this time. At S.H.A.R.E., Inc., we may experience a decrease in crisis calls on holidays with more calls for help in January and February. For survivors, it is a good time to review safety plans and start new family traditions.
Domestic violence is the leading cause of injury to women. Each year more than 1.3 million women are the victims of violence by an intimate partner. This number includes as many as 324,000 women who are pregnant at the time they are battered or abused. One in three adolescent girls in the United States is a victim of physical, emotional, or verbal abuse from a dating partner. These numbers probably underestimate the true magnitude of the problem because we know that most incidents are never reported.
Here at S.H.A.R.E., Inc., we strive to change these numbers with the ongoing support of the community.
What Do You Know About S.H.A.R.E., Inc.?
Sometimes we hear that the reason a victim of domestic abuse didn’t call us or an agency didn’t make a referral to us was because the victim didn’t need emergency shelter. So what services do we provide other than shelter for domestic violence victims and their children?
In 2014 alone, we have assisted 79 adult victims with safety plans, protection orders, and parenting plans. There have been a total of 66 women in support groups and 84 children and youth in kids’ groups. As I write this, with another six weeks left in the calendar year, the staff has provided follow-up contact in person or by phone a total of 866 times! Wow! And 83 families have been able to rent an apartment, shop for some groceries or diapers, or put a tank of fuel in their cars thanks to the financial assistance provided by S.H.A.R.E., Inc.
This is in addition to the 550 projected nights of housing we will provide in the emergency shelter, which is a three bedroom house with playroom for children.
Thirty-three years. Thanks to our great bilingual (English and Spanish) staff, the crisis call volunteers, the volunteers who assist weekly with the groups, the visitation monitors and our outstanding Board of Directors, we are approaching the end of our 33rd year of providing essential services to the victims and children who experience violence in their homes in Morgan County.
Ways to Help. Please consider our agency when you are making your United Way pledge or donate directly using the easy donate buttons on this newsletter or on our website. During the holiday shopping time, you may also want to help women and children in the shelter by using the Amazon Smile program, or donating items on our wish list.
Together, we will continue this great work in 2015!
Shelter Wish List
- General cleaning supplies – dish-washing soap, trash bags
- Laundry supplies – detergent, bleach, fragrance free fabric softener
- Paper products – toilet tissue, facial tissue, paper towels
- Disposable diapers, pull-ups and wipes
- Hand sanitizer
- Children’s socks, underwear and sleepwear
- Shampoo, conditioner, hair brushes, combs
- Toothbrushes, toothpaste, mouthwash
- Bedding – crib, twin and double sized sheets, blankets; pillows.
- Bath towels, wash cloths, shower soap, body wash, hand soap, deodorant
- Phone cards
- Gas cards
- Gift cards ($15 – $30 range): Safeway, Wal-Mart, Walgreens
We accept items that are new and unopened. Your donations are tax-deductible.