Today all of us at the Women’s Help Center, like most Americans, can count many reasons to be thankful.
So far this year, the center has helped 2515 domestic violence victims and their children find safe shelter, receive counseling and obtain the services necessary to break free from their abuser and set off on the path to peace and independence.
In 2013 the Women’s Help Center will celebrate 35 years of assisting tens of thousands of area women, men and children, who utilize program services, build new lives and move from the position of victim to that of survivor, living violence free.
And we will celebrate 35 years of being nourished by the generosity and support that this community provides through monetary donations, participating in fundraising events and contributing thousands of hours of volunteer time and expertise to the Center.
I wish I could tell you that after nearly four decades, the need for this life saving work is winding down and that the demand for domestic violence services is dwindling.
Unfortunately, quite the opposite is true.
During the past year, there was a 125% increase in counseling hours provided to victims and witnesses, nearly 2300 days of emergency shelter were provided and there was a 45% increase in legal advocacy efforts.
Exactly why are the numbers up? Is it the result of a struggling economy? Is it an increasingly violent society? Could it be an increased awareness of the crime of domestic violence? Is it some other reason or a combination of reasons? I can’t tell you why, exactly.
A Note from Our Executive Director