Resource support

Awareness Resources to Support Victims of Domestic Violence

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and there are many resources working to break the stigma surrounding the topic.

One in four women will experience domestic violence, according to the Kansas Coalition Against Sexual and Domestic Violence.

“It literally takes an entire village to help the healing process,” program director Dung Kimble told StepStone.

StepStone Ministries is just one resource that helps women and families escape the dangers of domestic violence.

Wichita is full of services ranging from mental health to medicine, but in other parts of the state this is not the case.

“The resources that are so readily available in Wichita and other urban areas just aren’t there,” said Angela McClure, associate director of the Family Life Center.

Rural areas face unique challenges due to the lack of services and opportunities such as transportation and affordable housing for survivors.

“In Newton, for example, we are sometimes able to provide taxi cards,” said Kim Ratzlaff, executive director of SafeHope.

Many spend more time with rural clients, sometimes even helping directly with transportation.

“It’s a little slower process to get them back on their feet,” McClure said.

In October, many resources advocate for survivors through community projects. Art is a way for them to let survivors express themselves.

“It doesn’t have to be a masterpiece to have therapeutic quality,” McClure said.

SafeHope held an art auction to help raise funds to keep resources free for survivors. Many pieces were created by survivors.

The Family Life Center introduced the Clothesline Project to El Dorado on the Butler Community College campus and other areas. They are looking to expand the project and are asking all survivors to contact them if they would like to add to the artwork.

“To help break the silence so that survivors can speak up anonymously, but also be able to have their voices heard about the abuse they have suffered,” said Sarah Oates, Butler County Community Campus Victims Advocate Middle School.

The group also added purple ribbons to trees around campus to remind students that everyone knows someone.

After this month is over, this work continues and these groups want the community to remember to listen because you never know what someone may be going through.

“If something happens to someone, what we need to ask them is not what’s wrong with you, but what happened to you,” Kimble said.

StepStone Ministries is hosting an art exhibit showcasing the work of survivors, from children to adults. The show is October 28. You can find out more here.

To access resources on domestic violence, click here.

If you or someone you know needs help immediately, contact the Kansas Crisis Hotline at 1-888-363-2287. This is a confidential, free, 24-hour helpline.

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