Census shows a need for domestic violence programs
The need for local domestic violence programs continues statewide and in southeast Indiana.
An annual census, conducted by the National Network to End Domestic Violence in September, counted the number of services provided in a 24-hour period.
Safe Passage, the domestic and sexual violence provider in Southeast Indiana with a 30-bed shelter based in Batesville, was one of the 47 Indiana shelters that participated in the census.
Although the 2019 results are not available yet, the 2018 snapshot shows the critical need for domestic violence programs and the gaps that leave victims at risk. The 13th Domestic Violence Counts Census found in Indiana:
2,071 victims were served in one day, either in emergency shelters or transitional housing, or through non-residential assistance, including counseling, legal advocacy and children’s support groups
614 hotline calls answered
2,695 attended 84 Prevention and Education trainings provided by local domestic violence programs.
230 unmet requests for services, of which 87 % were for housing, because programs did not have the resources to provide.
October is Domestic Violence Awareness month, and what better time to shed light on this community and national problem, said Mary Mattingly, Community Outreach Director for Safe Passage, Inc.
“The more people who know about the issue of domestic and sexual violence and the threat to the health and safety of their community, the more we can help. We want people to know there is a place of help, healing and hope.”
Established in 1997, Safe Passage has helped free over 16,000 victims and their children from a lifestyle of violence. The number continues to increase. Last year, Safe Passage served over 1,220 individuals either through the toll-free help line, the shelter or non-residential services.
That’s a 15 percent increase in one year, and likely to increase significantly since Safe Place, the sexual assault crisis center was launched last October. It is a division of Safe Passage and serves the same area.
The other component of Safe Passage’s mission is prevention. Evidence-based programming is presented to schools and organizations throughout the six-county district in an effort to stop the cycle of violence.
As part of DV awareness month, banners and ribbons will hang in visible spots in the six counties Safe Passage serves: Dearborn, Franklin, Ripley, Ohio, Switzerland and Jefferson. Creating better awareness and education is a step in prevention.
Advertising and social media posts will also be prevalent this month in the district to bring attention on the issue. The local Safe Passage youth council at Batesville High School will also focus on spreading the word about healthy dating relationships. They’ll be participating in the homecoming parade in October as well.
Besides the shelter in Batesville, Safe Passage has a full-time manned satellite office in Madison and Greendale, with office space also in Brookville and Vevay. All services are free and confidential.
For more information, go to www.safepassageinc.org or call 1-812-933-1990.