October is Domestic Violence Awareness month
On an average, Advocates to End Domestic Violence’s 51-bed shelter houses eight new women per month.
Since October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, the group is offering a four-day seminar to those wishing to volunteer their services to the program.
“What our training does is it basically gives our volunteers the knowledge to work the crisis hot line,” said program coordinator Heather, who prefers not to use her last name for safety reasons.
“We have community speakers coming from the sheriff’s office, the courthouse, Victims of Crime Program, Division of Child and Family Services. We take the (trainees) on a tour of the emergency room so our people understand what a victim goes through there,” she said.
Advocates, started in 1979 by two women who were once victims of domestic violence, offers a number of programs from a Crisis Call Line to the Women to Work – Clothing Program for women who are physically abused by their partners.
“If it wasn’t for us, these women would have no place to go with their children when they leave a violent situation,” Heather said.
Recent statistics indicate more than six million women in the United States are victims of domestic violence each year. In Nevada alone, more than 23,000 incidents of domestic violence were reported to law enforcement during 2001. Over two-thirds of Nevada victims are employed. The Carson City Sheriff’s Department alone responded to 117 domestic violence calls both verbal and physical since July, 63 percent of those calls resulted in arrests.
“Domestic violence does not stay home when its victims go to work,” Attorney General Frankie Sue Del Papa said. “It affects productivity, increases absenteeism and raises the risk of violence in the work place.”
In June 1999, Del Papa, chairwoman of Nevada’s Domestic Violence Prevention Council, launched a statewide campaign aimed at Nevada employers to promote awareness on how businesses can provide safer and more resourceful workplace for employees who are victimized by their partners.
During October, businesses in the area will be informing employees of the options available to them:
— The Attorney General’s Office will distribute pens and buttons to encourage participation in awareness-raising efforts.
— Wells Fargo Bank will be putting information on the Nevada 24-hour hot line on their ATM screens throughout the state.
— Superpawn has placed domestic violence information on its employees’ Web site including safety plan ideas and a list of resources.
— The Employers Insurance Company of Nevada has drafted policy on domestic violence that has been distributed to more than 16,000 of their policy holders.
— The State of Nevada has added a component of domestic violence to its risk management seminar for managers and supervisors.
“(The victim) needs to realize there are a lot of people in her same position and there are resources available to help if she decides to leave the situation,” Heather said.
To attend the Advocates to End Domestic Violence four-day training Oct. 14 to 18, call Heather at 883-7564. All callers will be screened. Advocates to End Domestic Violence’s Web site is http://www.aedv.org