While it took many years and much hard work by prevention advocates, domestic violence is finally being openly discussed regularly in workplaces, homes and in the public space, providing a platform to raise awareness about this important issue. Even with increased awareness, however, the availability of federal funding for domestic violence shelters and organizations remains limited.
This can pose a challenge for local organizations seeking resources to sustain their community outreach, counseling and housing efforts. The Women’s Crisis Center of Kentucky is just one organization that has experienced a reduction in federal funding over the last year.
“Any type of campaign that can help raise funds for domestic violence prevention programs is vitally important, because our funding is becoming more and more scarce,” expressed Melissa Greenwell, director of the Buffalo Trace region. “When we were selected as a Verizon Voices Have Power grant recipient, we were extremely grateful because the funds provided through this program would allow us to continue providing the quantity and quality of services that victims deserve.”
Each September, the Women’s Crisis Center hosts its “Dining to Make a Difference” event as a way to raise funds for their program, which is the only domestic violence and sexual assault program in the area.
“We have a 26-bed residential facility that shelters men, women and children who are victims of domestic violence. Last year we sheltered 223 victims,” said Greenwell. “We also serve about 800 victims of domestic violence and sexual assault non-residentially through our outreach program, operate a 24-hour crisis hotline and provide 24-hour response to our local hospitals for victims as well.”
With the additional funds provided by HopeLine from Verizon and the Voices Have Power campaign, the center will be able to maintain its nationally-recognized programs across the five Kentucky counties it serves.
“Having companies and businesses, like Verizon, step forward and recognize that domestic violence is a problem gives victims hope that there is support and the comfort they need to come forward for services,” stated Greenwell.
It’s our job as a community to work together and use our voices to raise awareness about domestic violence. Together, we can end the shame and stigma surrounding domestic violence and create a powerful movement that will prevent, and one day end, domestic violence.