As HELP of Door County, Inc. embraces the new year, we are thankful for the giving nature in Door County. It is this generosity of monetary donations, volunteer hours, and general support of our programs that allows us to continue to work towards our mission of preventing and reducing domestic violence.
Statistics show the reach of domestic violence is much wider than just intimate partners. Victims include children, the elderly, and other family members. This is why community-wide solutions are the key to addressing the problem. HELP addresses youth safety through our Family Access Solution Program, formerly known as the Visitation and Exchange Program. Jess Holland, HELP’s Youth Advocate, also addresses prevention and safety, and provides advocacy for children and teens by providing age-appropriate presentations in the Door County School Districts.
Another way HELP has worked to keep Door County safe is by joining together with the Sexual Assault Center to expand its current membership on the Coordinated Community Response team (CCR). The purpose of this group is to unite key members in Door County that are involved in keeping victims and children safe, as well as holding perpetrators accountable. Members include law enforcement, probation and parole agents, healthcare providers, judges, court commissioners, advocates, batterer treatment providers, school officials, Social Services and survivors.
Jessica Adams from HELP and Jake Erickson from the Sexual Assault Center have done a great job in bringing this amazing team together. Good coordination is what will lead the team into setting strategic goals to make Door County a safer place to live.
We hope that our work continues to make a difference. One indicator is the release of the Wisconsin Coalition Against Domestic Violence Report, and looking to state domestic violence homicides that took place in 2011. Forty people were killed in 34 incidents. These totals are down from 2009 and 2010, which saw 67 and 58 deaths respectively. Although we mourn the loss of every human life, it is encouraging that the levels of domestic homicides have receded. HELP of Door County, Inc. strives to be a part of a statewide initiative that continues to see a decrease in the number of domestic related homicides in years to come.
We encourage you to join us in 2013, trying to make Door County a violence-free community!
If you have further questions about how to be involved, or how to get help, please contact HELP of Door County, Inc. at 920.743.8818 or the Sexual Assault Center at 920.746.8996.
This article is brought to you in part by the Door County Coordinated Community Response (CCR) to Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Teams and the Door County Elder and Adult-at-Risk Interdisciplinary Team.