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I was listening to the news one morning last week and one of the topics was naturally the economy. The banks, the car manufacturers, mortgage companies, and then the words domestic violence came into play. Working with women who are going through domestic violence is my job, and naturally when I hear those words, my ears automatically perk up.
As most of us already know, one out of three women will experience some form of abuse in their lifetime. That is startling enough. Now reports are coming in from other domestic shelters, and also the statistics from The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, stating since the fall of our economy we are finding that women are three times more likely to experience domestic violence than before. Calls to The National Hotline for Domestic Violence Victims have increased by 51 percent in the last three months.
Verbal, emotional and physical abuse are increasing in homes at an alarming rate. Our teenagers are now witnessing more than ever the effects of domestic violence. They are hearing the verbal abuse. They are witnessing the physical abuse and seeing the effects of the emotional side of abuse. This is not fair to our mothers and is so unfair to our children, who just want to be children. Often times the children are forced to be uprooted from their homes, their schools and their lives as they knew it, not to mention their home life has now become a single-parent home. Our children need us, and our clients need us, so we cannot stop the fight to end this horrific crime that we call domestic violence.
In 1993, a wise and wonderful woman, who is also a social worker in Marion County, noticed that the majority of the people coming to her for assistance were women who were experiencing domestic violence. God placed on her heart to seek ways of helping these women. She held a town hall meeting, and at the end of the meeting she soon found that she had several people who were seeing much of the same, and they, too, wanted to seek out a way to help these women to be free of abuse for themselves and their children. That is how The Caring Place was born. With support from several, they in turn had support from others, and soon the trickle-down effect created an atmosphere where we could reach out, offer a safe place for our clients and their children, and help them get back on the road to a better living environment, free of violence.
She wrote grants, sought out private donors, and since its inception in 1993, The Caring Place has serviced and assisted more than 3,500 women and children.
Now, fast forward to 2009. Our economy is shot, we have the largest deficit in our country’s history.Jobs are being cut at an alarming rate, money is tight for everyone, and our mission is getting harder and harder. Without funding, we simply cannot continue with the numbers increasing as they are.
The Caring Place is a private, 18-bed shelter. We do not receive state funding and we rely on grants and the kindness of others to maintain the status that we have built within out communities.
We service Nelson, Marion, Washington and Taylor counties.
We are members of The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, and we adhere to their victim service standards, their policies and procedures for helping these women and their families.
But we need your help, as well. We need funding and we need your prayers. As Christians, we are taught that with God’s help, all things are possible, and as I have spent the last eight years of my life working in this field, I have seen God’s hand in everything that we have accomplished.
Yes, as advocates for our clients we are on the front lines, but without God’s help, we couldn’t have continued the past 15 and half years and had as many success stories as we have seen.
To all of you who see our need and feel the pain of our clients, we applaud you.
If you or someone else you know is experiencing the effects of domestic violence, please have them call us, or you can feel free to call us, as well.
We are public servants, and we are here to serve in whatever capacity we can.
For more answers about how you can help, call The Caring Place at (270) 692-9300 or toll free at (800) 692-9394. If you would like for us to speak to your church, schools or public organizations, we would be proud to share our mission with you at greater length.
We are proud to be entering into our 16th year of assisting women and children. However, we could not have been successful in our endeavor had it not been for the kindness of your donations in the past.
Delena Trent is executive director of The Caring Place, Inc. The Caring Place can be reached at P.O. Box #945, Lebanon, Ky. 40033