October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month and in light of that, Eastern Shore Coalition Against Domestic Violence (ESCADV) wants to bring awareness to the issue of domestic violence on the Shore, highlight how survivors can get help and let people know how they can get in volved.
Nationally, one in four women and one in nine men experience severe domestic violence. Here on the Eastern Shore, ESCADV serves hundreds each year. In 2020, ESCADV provided advocacy services to 234 people, answered 206 hotlines calls and sheltered 130 people for a total of 5,780 bed nights.
These are only the survivors ESCADV worked with, there are many more who will never utilize services or report their abuse. A study by The National Domestic Violence Hotline and Professor TK Logan at the University of Kentucky found that women who contacted The Hotline all shared a strong reluctance to turn to law enforcement for help, regardless of whether or not they had already interacted with police. Two thirds or more said they were afraid the police wouldn’t believe them or do anything to intervene. Additionally, only 34% of people who are injured by intimate partners receive medical care for their injuries, according to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence.
A large part of lowering barriers to survivors getting help is making sure they know where to turn. On the Eastern Shore that place is ESCADV. The Coalition provides a variety of services for survivors of domestic violence, including a 24-hour crisis hotline and an emergency shelter, but ESCADV provides much more than that. Advocates can help victims still living with abuse create a safety plan, offer rape crisis services or accom pany survivors during hospital visits or court cases. Advocates also provide counseling, information and referrals, crisis intervention and case man agement. The Coalition also provides children’s services, support groups, transportation assistance, financial support and assistance for survivors who need housing. You do not need to be sheltered with ESCADV to receive services. All services are free, confidential and available in both Eng lish and Spanish. Services are provided for men, women and children. To learn more about ESCADV’s service visit escadv.org.
ESCADV also provides literature about domestic violence and sexual assault in English, Spanish and Creole, as well as pens and bracelets with the hotline number (757-787-1329) on them. If you’d like materials to place in your business, office or organization email Outreach and Volunteer Coordinator Jon Bulin at [email protected].
In addition to helping survivors find shelter and build safer lives, ESCADV is able to provide for their day to day needs thanks to the community’s generosity. Clients have access to food, personal care items, clothes and household goods at the ESCADV offices. If you have items you’d like to donate for survivors you can bring them to 155 Market Street between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Common items clients always need include Crockpots, flatscreen TVs, microwaves, pots and pans, silverware, cleaning supplies, trash bags, toilet paper, baby wipes, diapers, hygiene products and paper towels.
Donating isn’t the only way you can help support ESCADV. Throughout the year, there are many volunteer opportunities. From organizing dona tions and helping with mass mailings to assisting with events, ESCADV could always use the help of volunteers. Before volunteering, individuals need to undergo training with ESCADV’s Volunteer Coordinator. To learn more about volunteer opportunities or to schedule a training contact Jon Bulin.
A third way to support ESCADV is through monetary contributions. The coalition receives funding from local governments and grants, but contri butions are vital for funding needs that grants won’t cover, such as some operational costs. To support ESCADV monetarily, you can give online or mail checks to P.O. Box 3 Onancock, VA 23417.
Additionally, ESCADV has undertaken a capital campaign to raise funds to transform the former G.F. Horne facility into The Campus, a new facil ity that will house their shelter, offices and space for providing support groups and educational programing. If you’d like to give to the capital cam paign, you can do so here or mail checks with Capital Campaign in the memo to P.O. Box 3 Onancock, VA 23417.
To learn more about domestic violence, ESCADV’s mission and resources for survivors, follow ESCADV’s Facebook and Instagram. In honor of Domestic Violence Awareness Month ESCADV will be sharing facts, stats and information throughout October. Note: If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic violence, call ESCADV’s 24-hour crisis hotline at 757-787-1329 today.