With all the talk about the Violence Against Women Act not being reauthorized this past Congressional session and now with it's reintroduction in the 113th Congress many people are asking ... what about the men that are victims of violence?
At HOPE Center we serve victims of violence regardless of gender.
The Violence Against Women Act provides funding and assistance to help us to continue to do so. In addition to advocacy, it provides funding for training, grants for prosecution, for Law Enforcement and many other important components to a comprehensive and thorough response to violence- regardless of gender.
Last year we served 54 male victims of violence (we served 668 victims total). But much like the statistics show across the country the majority of violence is men's Violence Against Women. We also know most men are not violent.
The Violence Against Women Act perhaps is a bit of a misnomer, because it provides protection against violence regardless of gender.
This discussion is one of the many reasons why our name changed from WomanSafe Center to HOPE Center... we wanted our name to reflect the fact that we serve anyone who is a victim of violence.
We also want to ensure that people know what we stand against, but also what we stand for.
We stand for Healing, Outreach Prevention and Education.
We want a healthier community, a more responsive judicial system, a compassionate Law Enforcement Response, and competent advocacy for victims of violence.
VAWA has improved the criminal justice system's ability to keep victims safe and hold perpetrators accountable. As a result EVERY state has enacted laws making stalking a crime and strengthened criminal rape statutes. The annual incidence of Domestic Violence has DROPPED more than 50% since VAWA became law.
It encourages communities to coordinate response to violence by bringing together victim advocates, law enforcement, the courts, health care professionals and leaders within faith communities.
VAWA helps to provide victims with critical services such as transitional housing, legal assistance and supervised visitation services. They address the unique barriers encountered by rural victims, elderly victims and victims with disabilities. Since VAWA was enacted, REPORTING of domestic violence has INCREASED as much as 51%. More victims are coming forward and receiving lifesaving services to help them move from crisis to stability.
We know that less than 25% of people who need services know where to go or who to turn to in times of crisis. We want to change that. By making sure that people know about HOPE Center we know that we can continue to provide needed services for our community.
We urge you to find out more about HOPE Center, more about VAWA and how you can support this important legislation friend us on Facebook.