With city and county law enforcement officials and other government employees surrounding him, Fallon Mayor Ken Tedford on Monday proclaimed October as Domestic Violence Intervention Month. After a short ceremony of dyeing the fountain purple in recognition of the month, Tedford read a proclamation and then presented it to supporters and members from DVI. Karen Moessner, executive director of DVI, has been at the helm of the agency for 12 years. In addition to the mayor reading the proclamation, she said DVI has its clothesline project set up at Millennium Park which show shirts inscribed with sayings against domestic violence. Victims of the abuse have written their own expressions on the T-shirts. The “hands not for hitting” bus will visit the schools near the end of the month and Moessner said it will be at the Churchill County Search and Rescue's Trunk or Treat event on Oct. 29 at Venturacci Park. In the mayor’s proclamation, he said an estimated one in three women and one in four men have experienced some form of physical violence by an intimate partner. “Domestic violence will only be eliminated through community partnerships of concerned individuals and organizations working together to prevent abuse while at the same time effecting social and legal change,” Tedford said from the proclamation. According to the proclamation, almost 70,032 victims of domestic violence sought services from DVI programs and shelters across the United States and its territories. Furthermore, stated the mayor’s proclamation, about 9,444 requests for services could not be provided because programs were unable to meet victims’ needs.
Steve Ranson/LVN Fallon Mayor Ken Tedford, holding a proclamation, declared on Monday that October is Domestic Violence Intervention Month at a ceremony at the Maine Street Fountain.
“One in four women and one in nine men will experience some form of severe physical violence at the hands of their partner,” Sheriff Richard Hickox said on his Facebook page. “One in seven women and one in nine men will be stalked. These statistics represent more than numbers for they are lives, men and women who are mothers, sisters, aunts, fathers, brothers, uncles and friends we, as a community and nation, must not lose sight of the human side of statistics.”Locally, Moessner said 173 people were provided emergency shelter or received safe house nights in Fallon. In addition to overseeing the DVI program in Churchill County, Moessner said DVI is also responsible for neighboring Lyon County. She said Fernley also has a clothesline project, and the city council there also issued a proclamation. With the state emerging out of the coronavirus pandemic, inflation and high housing and apartment rents have presented the greatest challenge for DVI programs. She said DVI can provide emergency services such as procuring several motel nights, but she said the Fallon shelter provides services for victims from both Churchill and Lyon counties. Moessner said a victim may stay no more than two weeks. During the past several years, Moessner said the city of Fallon has repaired the shelter and installed central air and heat. “Rent is too high or there is nothing to rent,” she said, adding nobody is building any apartments in the Fallon area. Carin Gomes, a certified domestic violence and sexual assault advocate, said it’s difficult for an individual to pay a deposit and first- and last-month rents to escape an abusive relationship. She said many rents are upward to $2,200 per month. “Who can afford that and makes that kind of money?” she asked. Gomes said there’s a two-year waiting list for affordable housing. Moessner said the local Churchill Community Coalition could apply for grants that help with the first- and last-month rents. She said the Jan Evans Fund, named for a former Nevada legislator, is not restricted like grants and could be used to help with monthly power bills. Moessner said Churchill and Lyon counties aren’t blessed with a pot of money like Elko and Humboldt counties. She said the mines donate to the DVI programs in Elko and Winnemucca. “The mines give them so much money,” Moessner said. “We have no industry.” Moessner said the local DVI is looking a transitional, affordable housing. In fact, she’s had her eye on a small trailer park near Walmart that could be a good location for temporary housing. According to Moessner, the local DVI is also using the Children’s Cabinet which provides funding for childcare for victims who are working. Childcare is a challenge since many jobs require shift work.