Jane Wagley, Executive Director/Client Advocate
Our Sister's Place, Inc. is so proud to provide a new initiative that we hope will address the issue of domestic/dating violence in our community. It is called the RESPONSE Project. What does that mean? Let me explain:
R = Recognize the Problem
In 2018, there were 4,613 reported incidents of domestic violence in Palm Beach County. This is 1/7th of the actual number of incidents that occurred. 10 individuals were murdered by someone they thought loved them. In the first six months of 2019, there have been 6 domestic violence homicides. The most dangerous time for a victim is when they leave the relationship.
E = Educate the Public
Through the RESPONSE Project, Our Sister's Place will continue to educate the public at awareness events, workshops, trainings and through our website and other social media venues. Survivors also share their stories and experiences with the public to raise awareness.
S = Screen Routinely
Our Sister's Place will continue to train doctors, nurses, medical office personnel, dentists and dental hygienists, hairdressers and salon personnel, emergency room staff and law enforcement to screen for domestic violence and assistance for victims.
P = Primary Prevention Focus
Prevention is still the best methodology for addressing domestic violence, sexual assaults, homelessness for victims of domestic violence as well as other societal issues that keep women (and some men) from leading healthy and violence-free lives. Our Sister's Place presents an anti-bullying/abuse curriculum (Look At Me, I'm Violence Free!) to pre-school and elementary students, to middle school students (It Stops Here) and a dating violence awareness curriculum to high school students (Love Shouldn't Hurt). The agency also has an alternative to suspension program for students who have identified as being victims of abuse.
O = Ongoing Community Education
Our Sister's Place, Inc. provides ongoing education to the community when there are new domestic/dating violence and stalking laws passed as well as informing them when new programs and services are available to victims/at-risk of domestic/dating violence and stalking.
N = Need
Need to reduce secondary victimization by providing direct services to remove barriers blocking victims' road to safety, self-sufficiency and independence.
S = Strategies for Intervention
Our Sister's Place, Inc. continues to lead domestic violence programs in providing strategies to prevent victims from returning to their abusers due to a lack of programs and services. The agency prides itself on finding solutions to each and every victim's individual and unique needs.
E = Engage with Community Partners
Our Sister's Place, Inc. strongly believes in collaboration with other social service agencies, law enforcement, attorneys prosecutors, judges, funders and volunteers (the agency has over 60 active volunteers) to provide the most comprehensive and effective services to victims/at-risk of domestic violence. The agency believes that together we can work towards eradicating domestic/dating violence and stalking; thereby, helping to make our communities safer for everyone.
I am asking you all to join us in this project and volunteer some time to help make our communities stronger and more aware of what we do and how we can all work together! Training is available and your skills and input are truly needed to make the RESPONSE Project a success. You can call me or our new Client Advocate, Michelle Mackey at (561) 529-1324 or visit us at our office for more information as to how you can be part of the continuing mission to help victims/at-risk of domestic violence.