United Way staff, board members and volunteers will be travelling through the ten counties of the Barren River Area Development District this month to highlight the results of the allocations process. Each community will recognize non-profit agencies that are recipients of important dollars that meet critical needs. The Barren River Area Safe Space, Inc. is one of those agencies. United Way funds emergency and support services for victims of domestic violence and their children in our service area.
At a time when other funding sources have been reduced we appreciate the efforts of the Logan County Allocations Committee to award our outreach services an increase. This demonstrates the investment of Logan County United Way, and the community at large in domestic violence services. Domestic violence is not something that one agency can eliminate. Each individual is challenged to make a difference in order to make Kentucky homes safe, secure and violence free. It is likely that many of those who read this column will know one person or one family affected by domestic violence. Knowledge is power.
Knowledge of what to say, what to do and who to call is important. What should a person do if they are a victim of domestic violence? Call the 24 hour toll free crisis line- 1-800-928-1183. Talk to a trained Advocate. Learn about the different safety options available, including emergency shelter or emergency protective order. Know that you are not alone and the abuse is not your fault. Create a safety plan based on your individual experience, risk factors, and resources.
What are the signs of domestic violence? Domestic violence is about power and control. Red flags include any behavior that demonstrates control of one person over another such as: monitoring where you go, texting or calling all the time, degrading remarks, checking odometer on your vehicle, telling you what to wear, isolating you from your friends and family, not allowing you to work, taking your money if you do work, forcible rape, threats of suicide, killing of pets, threats of homicide.
What effects does domestic violence have on the victim, children and the community? Domestic violence erodes the self-esteem and self-confidence of a victim. The intent of an abuser is to take total control that may be in the form of physical abuse, sexual abuse, psychological and emotional abuse and economic abuse. Victims are often left with debt, bad credit, limited resources because of the abuser. One in 4 homeless women identify domestic violence as the cause of homelessness. Women in poverty have limited access to resources, and are more likely to utilize emergency shelters for safety.
Children are often the silent victims in a home where they are exposed to domestic violence. Children are affected in different ways, and may exhibit behavioral problems or depression based on age, severity and duration of the violence. The community experiences increase in absenteeism from the workplace, increased emergency room visits, disrupted families. Families also experience extreme trauma and loss in the event of a domestic violence related homicide.
The vision of the Barren River Area Safe Space, Inc. is to reverse the cycle of violence and provide emergency and support services to victims so they may heal, increase knowledge, and set goals to take a path free from violence and harm. United Way of Logan County is a partner in this vision.