October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Of course, there are days and weeks and months all year long designated to bring awareness to community problems and needs, various illnesses, assorted worthwhile causes. In many cases, some extra attention is brought by news articles, meetings, luncheons, awards programs, etc. The problem is that when the Awareness observance ends, the attention often diminishes—but the problem or need remains.
Amy (last name withheld for confidentiality purposes) was a domestic violence victim in Lincoln County in the early 1990s. Along with her children, Amy attempted to leave her abusive husband but found there was no place in our county for domestic violence victims to go to receive housing and get help with services needed by domestic violence victims who had finally reached the breaking point and had to take action. At that time, Gaston County's DV agency also covered Lincoln County. Because of the lack of local services for domestic violence victims, Amy chose to return to living with her abuser where the abuse she was facing increased.
After several more months, Amy and her children were able to find shelter with the help of friends, but her story moved a group of Lincoln County citizens to act to create a resource for DV victims in Lincoln County. They saw a need that was evidenced by law enforcement statistics: in 1992, Lincoln County documented 47 aggravated assaults and 53 simple assaults related to domestic violence. What's more significant is that the number of domestic violence incidents that go unreported far exceeds those that are. The Lincoln County Coalition Against Domestic Violence was formed as a 501-c-3 agency in 1993. In 1994 Heafner Tire Company held a golf tournament to raise money for the program and in 1997, a grant from the Timken Foundation made it possible to expand the shelter known as Amy's House that had opened in 1995.
That 25-year-old shelter functions as a home for men, women, and children fleeing domestic violence while they seek safety, heal, and begin new lives. [While men are accepted in appropriate cases and when possible, it is mostly women and children who are served at Amy's House.] While the current shelter is great for those who are able to live in it, there are some days the shelter is full and the LCCADV is unable to meet shelter requests. Because of the need exceeding the capacity--along with increasing maintenance demands on the aging facility—the LCCADV has begun a campaign to build a new, larger Amy's House which can serve more DV victims and allow greater space to serve them in better ways.
Unmasking Domestic Violence, a signature fundraiser event for the Coalition Against Domestic Violence, has been scheduled for this Thursday (October 25th) at 6 PM at the Laboratory Mill, 848 Southfork Road in Lincolnton. This Masquerade Gala, Robert Dalton, LCCADV Executive Director, tells us: will unmask the stigma of and give a voice to survivors of domestic violence, while helping to raise funds for a new shelter. Event tickets include dinner. Cocktail attire and masks are encouraged.
Last year, Amy’s House provided a safe haven for 197 women and children who were leaving abusive situations at home, however due to the limited space in the shelter many victims were turned away.
All proceeds from ticket sales, bar sales, and a silent auction will go directly to the fund to build a new larger, more energy efficient shelter. In the last year, the LCCADV had
200 DV crisis calls to their DV hotline
107 DV information calls to assist DV victims and friends & families with DV-related information
Almost 3,500 shelter nights provided to those fleeing DV
Over 4,100 other DV-related services provided to DV victims to help them heal from DV and begin new lives
Over 1,200 people reached with DV awareness and education activities to help our community address domestic violence
90 DV victims assisted with shelter services
90 additional requests for shelter unmet at time of call (some assisted with shelter services at later time)
82 additional non-shelter clients provided DV services like housing assistance, court & legal advocacy, medical advocacy, and more.
Event tickets to Unmasking Domestic Violence can be purchased through Eventbrite at https://unmaskdv.eventbrite.com. Advance tickets are $60. Some will be available at the door Thursday evening, but the cost there will be $100.
The month of October and Domestic Violence Awareness month are almost over—but the problem will remain. This event will help to prepare for handling it in the years to come.
The mission of the Lincoln County Coalition Against Domestic Violence is to provide an alternative to living in a violent situation and to offer education / resources necessary for survivors to make healthier choices for themselves and their families.
To learn more about the LCCADV, Amy's House, Amy's Closet (Lincolnton and Denver), and how you can help financially, by volunteering, or in other ways, visit their Facebook Page or call 704-736-0112.
Sign up for our FREE email service and we'll send you an email every day with links to our articles posted since the previous day's email. That way, you won't miss the latest news, obituaries, sports and other items of interest for Lincoln, Gaston, Catawba and Cleveland counties.