Much has happened during the past year with Churchill County’s Domestic Violence Intervention program.
As DVI begins its annual awareness month, director Karen Moessner had some good news to report that will help victims of domestic violence. The Churchill County commissioners announced the fully paid-off shelter has now been turned over to DVI.
“We have been asking about the building since Eleanore (Lockwood) was here,” Moessner said during a Friday interview.
Lockwood was county manager before she retired. After she left, Moessner then approached the new county manager, Jim Barbee, and the process for DVI to take possession of the three-bedroom house had new life with the deed transfer. With DVI overseeing the shelter’s operation, the organization will now have an easier time obtaining grants for improvements. Moessner said previous grants could only be used for emergency repairs that affected the health and safety of the occupants.
Moessner said repairs and some remodeling can take place, and gutters can be installed.
The shelter is currently full with six people housed there. Moessner said the average time spent in the shelter is about three to four months, but she noted one woman with her child stayed there for nine months until housing the community became available.
In late 2018, the shelter closed for several months because the U.S. Senate did not reauthorize the Family Violence Prevention and Services Act in a timely manner.
Additionally, Moessner said victims requiring shelter were referred to another county until the Senate voted on the measure.
Moessner said DVI also bought a previously owned passenger van from Fallon Ford Toyota that will help transport clients and their children to the store or to appointments. Through the auto firm’s annual Pay It Forward program, each car buyer designates a donation of $50 to a specific nonprofit organization. Moessner said DVI was able to save thousands of dollars from Pay It Forward and other sources, and Fallon Ford Toyota worked with her to find a van.
Moessner said she and her volunteers couldn’t be happier with the good news DVI has received going into this year’s Domestic Violence Awareness Month. The Clothesline Project that was created by men and women who have been affected by domestic violence is on display at Millennium Park. According to DVI, the project allows victims to express their emotions by decorating T-shirts.
“The intention of the display is to honor survivors and act as a memorial for victims. It is also intended to aid in the healing process for those who were directly affected and those who lost someone special to domestic violence.”
DVI volunteers gathered on the city’s Maine Street to dye the downtown fountain in recognition of Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and the corridor from Williams Avenue — including Millennium Park — to the fountain is adorned with purple bows to raise awareness.
During October, Moessner encourages residents to wear purple to honor and recognize the victims of domestic violence. On Oct. 31, which is both Nevada Day and Halloween, she said DVI will park its converted “Hands are not for Hitting” school bus at the Nugget to spread the word in stopping domestic violence.
“The kids take out a pledge not to use their hands for hitting,” Moessner said, adding students will be able to slap their hands on the bus.
The Nevada Coalition to End Domestic and Sexual Violence (NCEDSV) advocates statewide the prevention and elimination of violence and also partners with many communities in the Silver State.
According to the latest statistics on the NCEDSV website, Nevada reported 47,368 first-time contacts. Including repeat and follow-up contacts the number increases to 69,732. Churchill County reported 287 victims, fourth highest of all 16 Nevada counties and Carson City.
Females in the age group 30-44 represent the large number of reports with 12,294 followed by females in the 18-29 age group with 6,236. For males in the 20-44 and 45-64 age groups, 2,519 were classified as victims.
NCEDSV also includes additional statistics affecting Nevada for one day.
332 adult and child victims of domestic violence found refuge in emergency shelters, transitional housing, or other housing provided by local domestic violence programs.
74 adult and child victims received non-residential assistance and services, including counseling, legal advocacy, children’s support groups, and more.
166 hotline calls were answered. Domestic violence hotlines are a lifeline for victims in danger, providing support, information, safety planning, and resources. 248 individuals were trained on domestic violence prevention, early intervention and more.
Out of the participating domestic violence programs in Nevada, 65 requests for services – including emergency shelter, housing, transportation, childcare, legal representation, and more – could not be provided because programs lacked the resources to meet victims’ needs.
More statistic information may be found at http://www.ncedsv.org.