Parlee Jones (left) – a woman of beauty and consequence! Thank you, Parlee, for all your great work in Worcester and beyond!
By Parlee Jones
Peace, Worcester people!
In my position as Shelter Advocate at Abby’s House, some of the bravest women I have met are the women who are fleeing a Domestic Violence situation. They are willing to walk away from everything they own, with the clothes on their back, going into the unknown. Some willing to meet unknown folks at a train station or bus station to go to a new place, a new home. Some with children, some without children. Some very young, some middle aged, some older women. Black, white, Hispanic, Asian, all folks. Trying to get away from the one they love and who is supposed to be loving them. Willing and ready to start over again. Just worried about finding a place to stop the pain.
On September 15, 2010, the National Network to End Domestic Violence did a 24 hour Census of Domestic Violence Shelters and services reported the following information. 1,746 out of 1,920, or 91%, of identified local domestic violence programs in the United States and territories participated in the 2010 National Census of Domestic Violence Services. The following figures represent the information provided by 1,746 participating programs about services provided during the 24-hour survey period.
70,648 Victims Served in One Day
37,519 domestic violence victims found refuge in emergency shelters or transitional housing provided by local domestic violence programs. 33,129 adults and children received non-residential assistance and services, including individual counseling, legal advocacy, and children’s support groups.
23,522 Hotline Calls Answered
Domestic violence hotlines are a lifeline for victims in danger, providing support, information, safety planning, and resources. In the 24-hour survey period, local domestic violence programs answered 22,292 calls and the National Domestic Violence Hotline answered 1,230 calls, resulting in more than 16 hotline calls every minute.
Despite helping over 70,500 people on September 15, 2010, domestic violence programs were unable to meet 9,541 requests for services because of a lack of funding, staffing and resources. Although programs have historically struggled to find resources to provide comprehensive services, funding cuts, reduced donations, and dwindling community resources are severely straining programs’ ability to help survivors get back on their feet.
If you are a domestic violence victim, let the people who care about you help you.
1. Confide in someone you trust. If you have a friend or relative who cares about your safety, tell them about the abuse. Sharing a burden with someone makes it lighter. If you’ve left your abusive relationship and are feeling lonely and tempted to return, talk it out with a friend who knows the situation.
2. Don’t let others talk you into taking action that doesn’t feel right to you. You are the only one who knows if you’re ready to leave your relationship, go to the police, or seek emergency shelter. Make your own decisions, based on your own comfort level.
3. Leave an “emergency kit” with a friend. This could include extra money, a set of car keys, a change of clothes and copies of important documents (driver’s license, birth certificates, social security card, health insurance records, documentation of abuse) that may come in handy in an emergency. Think of what you might need if you have to leave your home in a hurry.
4. Ask a friend to accompany you to important appointments. If you have medical appointments, are going to the police, to court, or to see a lawyer, take a friend along for moral support.
5. Make sure a friend knows about your Personal Safety Plan. Start making your own Personal Safety Plan Go over it with a friend and give that friend a copy of the plan.
A safety plan is a personalized, practical plan that includes ways to remain safe while in a relationship, planning to leave, or after you leave. Safety planning involves how to cope with emotions, tell friends and family about the abuse, take legal action and more. A good safety plan will have all of the vital information you need and be tailored to your unique situation, and will help walk you through different scenarios.
In Worcester we have been acknowledging the national awareness of this terrible epidemic with quite a few events. [Still to happen]:
October 27 ~ Daybreak Breakfast: 7:45 – 9:30 am Holy Cross Hogan Campus Center (more info 5608 767 2505 x 3009 $35)
October 29 ~ 6 pm to 8 pm ~ Spoken Word and Music Honorary Concert at the Worcester Public Library. This is going to be an incredible event, with some of Worcester’s most amazing poets and singers! Please join us!
All month long the Empty Place at the Table Exhibit will be showing at different places including Worcester City Hall, Worcester Public Library, Heywood Hospital, MWCC Student Lounge, Leominster City Hall, Health Alliance Hospital, Holy Cross, Fitchburg State, Quinsigamond Community College Student Life Center, UMASS Hospital and the Worcester Police Department.
For more info on these events you can call Daybreak at 508 767 2505.
National Network to End Domestic Violence http://nnedv.org/
Jane Doe (Mass. Coalition Against Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence http://janedoe.org/