If you want to know what the face of a domestic violence victim looks like, then look around you. These individuals are your neighbors, friends and colleagues. Domestic violence victims belong to every religion, race and are in every neighborhood.
Domestic violence is the willful intimidation, assault, battery, sexual assault or other abusive behavior perpetrated by one family member, household member, or intimate partner against another. October is Domestic Violence awareness month and the Resource and Crisis Center of Galveston County is working to educate the community about this crime.
There are a lot of misconceptions about domestic violence and many believe it could never happen to them. Mike Jez, League City assistant city manager of public safety, recently told city council members that cases of family violence increased by as much as 103 percent from 2009 to 2010. There were 303 reports of assault and family violence in 2010, up from 149 in 2009. And, sadly those statistics have increased across Galveston County as a whole.
Despite these statistics, there are many ways to help these victims. The Resource and Crisis Center of Galveston County works daily to help these individuals in many capacities. The mission of the center is to promote the safety, well-being and best interest of victims of family violence, sexual assault and child abuse, and to advocate for the prevention of such crimes. The Resource and Crisis Center provides safety to victims of family and sexual violence and assists with legal protection through protective orders, safety planning, and safe shelter. It also provides emotional support, comfort, and empowerment through support groups, case management, medical and court accompaniment, and basic needs through resale donations in order to provide for the overall well-being of the clients served.
Lowe’s Home Improvement store recently pitched in to help the RCC victims by volunteering to renovate its shelter. Lowe’s employees from across the area volunteered their time to create a gate from the front of the shelter to the backyard ramp for clients with disabilities. Volunteers also landscaped the backyard, created an area for rubber mulch underneath the children’s swing set and created a storage room for donations inside the shelter. Lowe’s volunteers also created shelving units for storage, installed a locked cabinet for safe keeping of medications, created a teen room and created a computer desk for clients to conduct business and look for jobs. RCC is grateful for community partners like Lowe’s.
The Resource and Crisis Center hopes to educate the community about domestic violence through its Yoga on the Beach event on Oct.22. It will be held at Menard Park, located at 27th Street and Seawall Blvd in Galveston. The event is intended to bring awareness and attention to domestic violence and the need for healing in the community. The yoga and meditation class is for all ages and experience levels. To register, email Samantha Coats at firstname.lastname@example.org or log onto www.rccgc.org.
For more information on the Resource and Crisis Center events, volunteer opportunities or general information, log onto www.rccgc.org.