By Becky Heard, Heather Jeppeson and Lynnette Irlmeier
Partnerships are essential to agencies assisting children and families in need. They make services like the Yolo Crisis Nursery stronger.
This October (National Domestic Violence Awareness Month), we turn our attention to one of our strongest community links: the Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence Center of Yolo County.
The statistics are alarming. One in four women will experience domestic violence in her lifetime. Tragically, domestic violence rarely has just one victim. Every year, more than 3 million children witness domestic violence in their homes and between 30 and 60 percent of domestic violence perpetrators also abuse the children in their home.
Children who witness and experience abuse are at heightened risk for emotional and behavioral problems. Often, abused parents feel helpless and alone, trapped in a dangerous relationship, unaware of available resources. Parents may stay for financial or emotional reasons, because they are afraid and don’t know where to go, or because they believe keeping the family together is best for the children.
Recently, Liz, a young mom who was being verbally and physically abused by her daughter’s father, felt that exact sense of helplessness. She didn’t know where to turn until she heard about the Yolo Crisis Nursery.
Liz thought if she could leave her 3 year-old daughter, Caroline, at the nursery while she stayed with friends — or even slept in her car — she might be able to get a job and eventually find a new, safe home for them to live.
Like many times before, the nursery staff knew exactly what to do. They called SADVC to find shelter for Liz and Caroline. There was no need for Liz to sleep in her car, and there was no need for mother and daughter to be apart overnight.
Throughout Liz’s stay, the two agencies continued to work together to provide needed services. The nursery cared for Caroline while Liz obtained a restraining order and searched for employment. SADVC provided counseling and professional clothing that enabled Liz to regain her footing.
Today, Liz has a great job and she and Caroline have their own apartment. Thanks to the seamless alliance between nursery and SADVC, this precious family received help when they needed it most.
The Yolo Crisis Nursery is proud to support SADVC and its upcoming Halloween Gala, “Unmasking Violence,” on Saturday, Oct. 26, from 7 p.m. to midnight at the Odd Fellows Hall, 415 Second St. in downtown Davis.
The event will feature cocktails by Anna Del Castillo of Bella Bartending, live music by Roadhouse 5, costume contests and prizes, live and silent auctions, and catering by Jen and Gary Sleppy of The Shack. Tickets are $25, on sale at http://sadvc.eventbrite.com. More information is available at http://sadvc.org/events.html or by calling 530-661-6336.
Costumes are not required.
Even strong partnerships need help; you are an integral component of our success. Help “unmask violence” and support our efforts to change the course of many vulnerable lives by promoting happy, healthy families — all free from violence.
— Becky Heard and Heather Jeppeson are co-presidents of Friends of the Yolo Crisis Nursery. Reach them at 530-386-2647. Lynnette Irlmeier is the executive director of SADVC. Reach her at 530-661-6336.