An outreach program for family violence
The Family Violence Council of Collierville has opened a new temporary shelter for victims of abuse, said Council President, Dori Clark. There are over 200 victims of domestic violence a year, not including children, here in Collierville. The Family Violence Council is a non-profit organization that provides many of these victims not only education and emergency shelter, but temporary shelter for up to 60 days. Abuse victims are primarily women; she said who somewhat need somewhere safe to go to get away from their abusers. Most often their abusers are their husbands or boyfriends. The Family Violence Council never gives the address of the shelter, but a victim can call the Council at (901) 870-2990 to apply for temporary shelter.
Because victims may need information for protections, the Family Violence Council provides resources to legal advice and advocacy support for victims. It also provides resources, counseling and coaches to empower victims to feel confident in a court setting.
Clark said, “ Over 30 percent of women are victims of domestic violence and over 40 percent of female teenager report being victims of or knowing someone their age who is a victim of domestic violence.” She advises women to be wary of a spouse or boyfriend who wants to control them. This control may be misconstrued as care or concern, but often escalates to violence.
“Dr. Jan Dieber, a member of the Family Violence Council of Collierville, offers a support group to victims. Statistics show that it may take 4, 5, or 6 times to leave an abuser permanently,” said Clark. The Council would like to address domestic violence among our youth and is hopeful that in the future a program may be offered to middle and high school students in the area.
Having an organization like this in Collierville is extremely important because often the Memphis-based shelters are full or the Collierville victims do not want to move their children from their community and schools. Also, Collierville victims have employment in the county and being sheltered in Memphis is not an option.
Once of the Council’s requirements for temporary shelter is that the victims get a job if they don’t have one. Many victims haven’t worked because their spouses, in trying to control them, haven’t allowed them the freedom to work. Victims must also attend counseling, which is free. In addition, they are required to get an Order of Protections, for which they must apply.
The 60 day stay at the temporary shelter is also free so the victims can have time to build up their resources before they go out on their own. “Fortunately, the Family Violence Council recently received a very generous donation from an anonymous donor,” Clark said. This allowed the Council to provide a new temporary shelter.
Donations are still needed, however. Among the items needed are these: linens for queen-size bed and two twin beds, preferably new; blankets, kitchen items, such as pots, pans and utensils; extra furniture, including a dresser and night stand. Council members want the shelter to be safe and comfortable for the victims. To donate you can call (910) 870-2990.