News

Domestic violence is up, funding for help is not

Support Network for Battered women sees holiday spike in victims, worries about drop in funds

Those who work with North County's battered women didn't get a break during the holidays -- it was their busiest time of the year.

"These past several weeks have been remarkably busier for us, and the abuse and trauma more significant," said Sandy Davis, director of the YWCA's Support Network for Battered Women, which serves northern Santa Clara County. "Stress of any kind can heighten an abusive relationship and when we compound the poor economy to the general stress that holidays bring, yes, there will be more violence."

The Network's 24-bed shelter has been at full capacity this winter, as it often is. But with funding for nonprofits at an all time low, there is no money for expansion.

The Network is one of seven local nonprofits that receive help from the Voice's annual Holiday Fund drive. This year's Holiday Fund comes as Davis is particularly worried about funding, especially from the state, which provides about 20 percent of the network's income. Governor Jerry Brown has already warned about deep budget cuts this year.

One in four women experience domestic violence. It is for this surprisingly large population that the Network maintains a crisis hotline, provides counseling services and provides shelter in a secret location for victims of the most serious abuse.

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The shelter is a four-plex of two-bedroom apartments with a very "home-like feel," Davis said. A woman might stay there for one to two months before she is able to get back on her feet. It may be as simple as saving money for a deposit on an apartment, or as complex as finding a source of income and childcare for the first time.

Recently a woman gave birth while staying at the shelter, and the woman's auxiliary of a local church donated clothes, a crib and a car seat.

Only one abuser has ever found the shelter, Davis said. A victim revealed the address to her abuser because she wanted to talk to him. But the building is secure and he was never let inside, Davis said. In most cases, from the abuser's perspective it appears that the victim has vanished, although the abuser may hear that the victim is in a "safe place" through an attorney or the district attorney's office, Davis said.

The shelter houses not only women, but children, too. A school nearby is set up to accommodate the children immediately. Returning to their own school could allow an abuser to locate the child and the victim, Davis said.

Some of the women make life-long friendships in the support groups the Network organizes on a drop-in basis. Victims are allowed to attend the groups as long as they like. Children have their own support groups, which look more like play time as counselors try to reach the kids in a less direct way, Davis said.

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Davis said her heartstrings are tugged especially by the children, who are either victims of the abuse or witnesses of it. The boys may go on to be abusers and the girls may go on to think it's all right for a man to abuse them.

The Network got its start when a woman named Geri Rivard opened up a one-room office in a church for half a day every week. But she was soon swamped with hundreds of calls from women seeking help.

The shelter now receives 1,100 crisis calls a year from victims, and counsels 800 women and 250 children every year. Last year, the shelter housed of them. There are over 350 volunteers, 10 trainees and 24 employees, three of whom are licensed therapists.

As of last April, the Network is now under the umbrella of the YWCA of Silicon Valley, which has helped save the network money on administrative costs. While funding is uncertain, it continues to operate within budget.

For more information, visit supportnetwork.org. The Network's crisis hotline is 1-800-572-2782.

Follow Mountain View Voice Online on Twitter @mvvoice, Facebook and on Instagram @mvvoice for breaking news, local events, photos, videos and more.

Domestic violence is up, funding for help is not

Support Network for Battered women sees holiday spike in victims, worries about drop in funds

by / Mountain View Voice

Uploaded: Fri, Jan 7, 2011, 10:37 am

Those who work with North County's battered women didn't get a break during the holidays -- it was their busiest time of the year.

"These past several weeks have been remarkably busier for us, and the abuse and trauma more significant," said Sandy Davis, director of the YWCA's Support Network for Battered Women, which serves northern Santa Clara County. "Stress of any kind can heighten an abusive relationship and when we compound the poor economy to the general stress that holidays bring, yes, there will be more violence."

The Network's 24-bed shelter has been at full capacity this winter, as it often is. But with funding for nonprofits at an all time low, there is no money for expansion.

The Network is one of seven local nonprofits that receive help from the Voice's annual Holiday Fund drive. This year's Holiday Fund comes as Davis is particularly worried about funding, especially from the state, which provides about 20 percent of the network's income. Governor Jerry Brown has already warned about deep budget cuts this year.

One in four women experience domestic violence. It is for this surprisingly large population that the Network maintains a crisis hotline, provides counseling services and provides shelter in a secret location for victims of the most serious abuse.

The shelter is a four-plex of two-bedroom apartments with a very "home-like feel," Davis said. A woman might stay there for one to two months before she is able to get back on her feet. It may be as simple as saving money for a deposit on an apartment, or as complex as finding a source of income and childcare for the first time.

Recently a woman gave birth while staying at the shelter, and the woman's auxiliary of a local church donated clothes, a crib and a car seat.

Only one abuser has ever found the shelter, Davis said. A victim revealed the address to her abuser because she wanted to talk to him. But the building is secure and he was never let inside, Davis said. In most cases, from the abuser's perspective it appears that the victim has vanished, although the abuser may hear that the victim is in a "safe place" through an attorney or the district attorney's office, Davis said.

The shelter houses not only women, but children, too. A school nearby is set up to accommodate the children immediately. Returning to their own school could allow an abuser to locate the child and the victim, Davis said.

Some of the women make life-long friendships in the support groups the Network organizes on a drop-in basis. Victims are allowed to attend the groups as long as they like. Children have their own support groups, which look more like play time as counselors try to reach the kids in a less direct way, Davis said.

Davis said her heartstrings are tugged especially by the children, who are either victims of the abuse or witnesses of it. The boys may go on to be abusers and the girls may go on to think it's all right for a man to abuse them.

The Network got its start when a woman named Geri Rivard opened up a one-room office in a church for half a day every week. But she was soon swamped with hundreds of calls from women seeking help.

The shelter now receives 1,100 crisis calls a year from victims, and counsels 800 women and 250 children every year. Last year, the shelter housed of them. There are over 350 volunteers, 10 trainees and 24 employees, three of whom are licensed therapists.

As of last April, the Network is now under the umbrella of the YWCA of Silicon Valley, which has helped save the network money on administrative costs. While funding is uncertain, it continues to operate within budget.

For more information, visit supportnetwork.org. The Network's crisis hotline is 1-800-572-2782.

Comments

Ray2447
another community
on Jan 7, 2011 at 10:58 am
Ray2447, another community
on Jan 7, 2011 at 10:58 am

Domestic violence will never end as long as the whole truth about it is misrepresented to comply with feminist ideology. V.P. Biden recently called violence against women, "the very worst abuse." The very worst abuse is valuing one life less than another for having been born the wrong gender. Under domestic violence law, the wrong gender is men. Shelter and services are virtually non-existent for male victims of domestic violence. Options out of a bad relationship, that women have, are often not available to men. Men wind up gender profiled and falsely accused by the taxpayer funded, domestic violence industry, because of gender feminist ideology controlling the d.v. industry. Men are often battered by domestic violence, and then battered again by the taxpayer funded, domestic violence industry as shown in "Los Misandry" at Youtube.


Ray2447
another community
on Jan 7, 2011 at 11:00 am
Ray2447, another community
on Jan 7, 2011 at 11:00 am

What about all the men who are victims of women's domestic violence? Women's domestic violence against men is grossly under reported, while male victims are still routinely being ignored by the taxpayer funded domestic violence industry. Credible research overwhelmingly shows that the ratio of domestic violence is at least 50/50 between women & men. Go to Fiebert Bibliography. According to one study by researchers who work at the CDC, in 70 percent of domestic violence incidents, where the d.v. is not mutual, it's women who initiate the d. v. Go to Respecting Accuracy in Domestic Abuse Reporting. Click on the link under the red & blue pie chart. D.v. law follows a gender feminist agenda over facts & does great harm to many innocent men & also many violent women. Go to Youtube, “Los Misandry.” Web Link


Ray2447
another community
on Jan 7, 2011 at 11:05 am
Ray2447, another community
on Jan 7, 2011 at 11:05 am

What about the little children? Deaths of little children, killed by their mothers is egregious, yet the taxpayer funded, domestic violence industry disingenuously tries to make us believe that women don't abuse men too. According to the U.S. Dept of Health and Human Services and DOJ statistics, more kids are killed by neglect and abuse in a year (1,760 in 2007), than all the female intimate partner homicides in a year. Mothers are the single largest group of kid killers, according to HHS, and they have a rate twice that of fathers. Nowhere near the money is spent to protect kids from kid killing mothers as is spent by the domestic violence industry to protect women. The taxpayer funded d.v. industry is a bastion of misandrist vilification, falsely accusing men of being the overwhelming cause of d.v., and empowering violent women to commit further domestic violence. The corruption of the taxpayer funded, domestic violence industry is characterized in "Los Misandry" at Youtube.


Ernie
Willowgate
on Jan 7, 2011 at 11:36 am
Ernie, Willowgate
on Jan 7, 2011 at 11:36 am

Gee, Ray, it almost sounds like you were once accused of domestic violence.

I too hate it when my 350lb wife threatens to beat me up.


goodpoints
Monta Loma
on Jan 7, 2011 at 2:36 pm
goodpoints, Monta Loma
on Jan 7, 2011 at 2:36 pm

You both bring up good points. I wish the Stanford law students would look into the men's issues of abuse rather than taking up the ridiculous cause of the ideafarm lunatic.

I wonder if there are more resources available to women in abuse situations because they may be less economically and educationally prepared to be on their own. Also, they probably have the kids to protect. But I'm not giving women a break. They chose their abusive partners, they chose to have kids instead of pursuing their education, and they chose to not work outside the home. Some of the blame is theirs. And then they expect the taxpayers to fix their woes. I get tired of hearing about the endless cycle. Sorry if that sounds sexist, elitist, or whatever...


Donna BlameTheVictim
Cuesta Park
on Jan 7, 2011 at 3:08 pm
Donna BlameTheVictim, Cuesta Park
on Jan 7, 2011 at 3:08 pm

For victims of domestic violence, there are a number of resources available in Santa Clara County, regardless of the gender:
Web Link


DV Agency Worker of 8 Years
Shoreline West
on Jan 10, 2011 at 8:58 am
DV Agency Worker of 8 Years, Shoreline West
on Jan 10, 2011 at 8:58 am

@Ray and anyone else who is choosing to de-value the abuse of victims of DV instead attack the system.

In this county and most others in California, there are counseling and legal services for men, women, and children.

For example, the YWCA's Support Network offers both men and women help with restraining orders and court support, as well as counseling.

I would suggest you educate yourself about what is available before you waste time and energy spreading mis-information.


USA
Registered user
Old Mountain View
on Jan 11, 2011 at 11:47 am
USA, Old Mountain View
Registered user
on Jan 11, 2011 at 11:47 am

"I wish the Stanford law students would look into the men's issues of abuse rather than taking up the ridiculous cause of the ideafarm lunatic."

Irony. IdeaFarm hits women. Fortunately, his wife left him because of his violence before she became a statistic.

Maybe the MV Voice could interview her to get an inside view on the issue and to put a stop to the people who see IdeaFarm as some sort of misunderstood idealist.


USA
Registered user
Old Mountain View
on Jan 11, 2011 at 5:29 pm
USA, Old Mountain View
Registered user
on Jan 11, 2011 at 5:29 pm

From SF Chronicle: "But even if you're a woman and end up on the street for other reasons, being abused and/or raped like Mary is likely to become the norm for you. Homeless assaults (both physical and sexual) and deaths are not gender-neutral. No group among those without a home dies faster, or more brutally, than women. Homeless women have higher rates of PTSD (65%) than returning combat veterans. Women die at shockingly high rates - not only losing their usual survival advantage over men, but also going further, to die at even higher rates then their age-equivalent male counterparts. And the group of women dying the most is young women."

Web Link


Read more: Web Link#ixzz1AmPFbawa


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