October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and several local organizations are getting the community involved.
Elizabeth’s Village helps women and children in Scott County who are experiencing homelessness, poverty and domestic violence.
Sunday marks the start of their “Stop the Silence, Stop the Violence Week.” Events include a survivor walk, trauma-informed yoga session, and ‘In Her Shoes’ training for businesses.
“In Her Shoes is a domestic violence simulation, so you kind of take on the identity of a survivor and you go through their story, and you run into barriers, and you have to decide whether or not it’s safe to leave or to go and you experience people not being helpful,” Elizabeth’s Village program developer Emily Metcalfe said.
In this growing county, Metcalfe and her coworkers work to grow awareness.
“A lot of the homelessness here in Scott County is caused by domestic violence and the lack of resources here in our community and so we wanted to step into that void, meet that need,” executive director Kandice Whitehouse said.
Whitehouse and Metcalfe said the week of education is meant to answer questions that are often asked. Whitehouse said a lot of people ask, “why doesn’t she just leave?”
“They didn’t always feel safe, they didn’t always feel supported or seen. To just know that they have that confidence and that encouragement is why we do what we do,” Metcalfe said.
These seven days are dedicated to those who need help.
“We want to try to also prevent violence in our community, not just react to it,” Whitehouse.
It taked a village to do it.
Elizabeth’s Village has a transitional home, a domestic violence victims advocacy program, and a homelessness prevention outreach program.