As many of you will recall, our church and preschool community lost a dear friend and teacher in August of 2014 when Ashlee Steele’s husband killed her. In the weeks and months following Ashlee’s death, many community members and organizations rallied around preschool teachers, families, and church staff as we grieved and navigated our way through this tragedy. One those organizations, Domestic Abuse Intervention Services (DAIS), has provided many opportunities to learn more about domestic abuse (the ultimate form of which is homicide). I’ve participated in workshops for faith leaders and helped facilitate teaching sessions for teens and youth group leaders; DAIS led a training for church staff here in 2015; and in September I completed 34 hours of advocate training at DAIS in order to join their crisis response team, whose members volunteer weekly to provide victims with listening and support, access to community resources, and assistance with safety planning.
October is Domestic Violence Awareness month, and I’m sharing all of this with you because domestic abuse is a significant problem, a community problem, that requires a community response. Did you know that domestic abuse affects 1 in 4 women, and 1 in 7 men? Approximately 1 in 3 teens will experience some form of dating violence before they become an adult. Abuse is not always or only physical -- it can be verbal, sexual, and emotional as well. Children from homes where domestic abuse occurs can also suffer serious consequences even if they are not directly abused. We all know someone who was or is a victim of domestic abuse, and we can all learn how to help.
If you have questions about domestic abuse in general, about your own safety, or about the safety of a loved one, please call the DAIS Help Line (608-251-4445 or 1-800-747-4045) or to talk to me or another trusted staff person at the Church. We want you to know that we are here to support you, and that suffering from abuse is never your fault.
Please join me in praying regularly for victims of domestic abuse in all its forms, and consider participating in the community response to domestic violence in one of the following ways:
Learn more by attending an upcoming DAIS Community Education Event or their fall fundraiser:
What Does It Mean to Support a Survivor?
Wednesday, October 26, 5:30-7:00pm
DAIS, 2102 Fordem Avenue, Madison
RSVP online abuseintervention.org/about/events or by calling 608-251-1237
Dress for DAIS Fashion Show
Thursday, October 20, 6:30pm
Overture Center Main Lobby
Power of One
Participate in DAIS’ Power of One campaign, which aims to shift the conversation in Dane County fromviewing domestic abuse as a women’s issue to a community issue, and engages men in our community through education, awareness, and social change. More details are on their website (abuseintervention.org/powerofone).
Become an Advocate
Consider becoming an advocate (regular volunteer) with DAIS. The next New Advocate Training will take place in February 2017.
Become a Host
Host a workshop, training, or presentation at your workplace or community group: email Faye at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit abuseintervention.org/about/education for more information