A local domestic violence survivor says new services at a Beloit organization will help others like her get out of abuse.
This year, Beloit Domestic Violence Survivor Center has added a texting line for victims to reach out without having to make a call. Plus, the police department has adopted a new policy for response, to better identify the most at-risk victims when responding to calls for service.
BDVSC, police adding services for better victim outcomes
A new garden in Horace White Park is more than a healing place for survivors of child abuse, sexual assault and domestic violence.
Kelsey Hood-Christenson, program director for the Beloit Domestic Violence Survivor Center, said during a dedication Tuesday that Family Service's new Serenity Garden will serve as a community statement.
With 40 percent of Beloit girls estimated to have endured some form of abuse, those with the School District of Beloit and the Beloit Domestic Violence Survivor Center are trying to save them before they become entrenched in a lifetime of domestic violence.
Family Services is revamping its workplace harassment training program in light of the national movement combating sexual harassment.
Executive Director, John Pfleiderer said that though Family Services has offered harassment training for decades through its employee assistance program, this new initiative involves a three-tier approach.
Purple silhouettes of people can be seen throughout Beloit with messages about domestic violence awareness. These silhouettes were traced from clients of the Beloit Domestic Violence Survivor Center (BDVSC) all of whom have been affected by or are survivors of this violence.
This is one of the many activities and campaigns the BDVSC, a program within Family Services, has planned for October in honor of Domestic Violence Awareness Month.
Local organizations are teaming up to plan events that promote sexual violence prevention in honor of April being Sexual Assault Awareness month.
The Sexual Assault Recovery Program (SARP) or Family Services, will be joining forces with Beloit College to host a Denim Day event on April 26 to promote awareness and prevention as well as to discourage victim blaming.
Pinwheels event to raise awareness for child abuse
Shelter usage increased approximately 43 percent at the Beloit Domestic Violence Survivor Center (BDVSC) from 2016 to 2017, which is the highest amount of victims the center has sheltered in the last 20 years.
BDVSC program director Kelsey Hood-Christenson said the center had 8,031 shelter nights in 2017, with a monthly average of 669. This also is the highest monthly average in the last 20 years. One shelter night equals one person per one night. In 2016, the shelter had 5,604 shelter nights, with a monthly average of 467.
One of Family Services' mental health counselors has begun bringing in her furry friend as a way to further help her clients.
Jenifer Jelinek, counselor, began bringing her dog Luka in August, 2016. She said her American Staffordshire Terrier/Boxer mix is another tool for her toolbox when helping to treat client's mental health issues.
Read more here.
Four-legged friend helps out at Family Services
Volatile. Violent. Horrific. Worst case-scenario. These are the words "Esmerelda" used to describe her home life at the beginning of 2016.
Esmerelda and her children are survivors of domestic violence. In the span of six months, she went from hopeless to hopeful because of the Beloit Domestic Violence Survivor Center of Family Services.
Domestic Violence Survivor learns to find hope
“We are honored to have enjoyed the support of the community over the past 80 years as the agency worked to help improve the lives of those facing substantial challenges. We hope to continue to merit community support in the coming years as we develop continuously evolving strategies to better serve some of the most vulnerable members of our community,” John Pfleiderer said.