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Domestic Violence Awareness month is even more important this year

Published: Oct. 22, 2020 at 11:15 PM CDT|Updated: Oct. 22, 2020 at 11:21 PM CDT
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FREMONT COUNTY, Wyo. (Wyoming News Now) -

October is Domestic Violence Awareness month, and according to a victim advocate in Fremont County, the need for their services has increased with shutdowns, leaving the vulnerable population at home with the perpetrator more often.

Executive Director for the Fremont County Alliance Against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault, Sydney Allred stated, “We have seen an increase in a number of things, ranging from domestic violence to stalking behaviors. It has been not only an increase in the number of cases we’re seeing, but an escalation in the violence.”

Allred says based on statistics and field research, financial stress increases domestic violence, so the strain that many families and people in unhealthy relationships were already under, has been the last straw in some cases.

“If you are in a bad situation right now, if you don’t know that there are places to go, and that there are programs and agencies out there, there are. Everyone is dedicated to meeting the needs of survivors and their families and is absolutely willing to reach above and beyond if they need to try and bridge the gap and make sure services get across,” emphasized Allred.

Although their big fund raiser had to be canceled, and funding has been cut nationwide, this organization is thankful for all the community support, that can help offset some of the lack of funding.

“We’re going to have to get creative because the need is increasing while the funding’s disappearing but that’s the name of the nonprofit game. Funding comes and goes but the services need to remain. We’re going to work really closely, and we’re having meetings across the county, and conversations across the county including the reservation about how we can meet this need, how we can keep people safe,” Allred noted.

Fremont County Alliance Against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault holds an annual purple ball every October, but due to effects of COVID, were unable to this year. That is their largest fund raiser of the year, so it was a difficult decision to make, but the community support and donations that have been given are helping cover people’s increasing needs for shelter, support, and physical items.

Allred says they’ve been cut $52,000 this year with an expected 20% decrease in funding for next year, so the community support is essential.

Money is the most practical, as it can be used in areas that the general grant funds can’t be used for, such as paying a deposit or a first month’s rent. However, household donations are useful as well. Some of the items that are especially helpful are: new bedsheets, work clothing, mattresses, box springs, dressers, nightstands, silverware, toasters, microwaves, among many other items that the shelter accepts. Officials say that anything that someone would need upon entering into a brand new apartment are the kinds of physical items that are accepted. (307)-856-0942 is the office number to call to set up an appointment for donations, or to call with any questions. (307)-856-4734 is the crisis hotline.

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