Up & Coming Weekly

October 27, 2020

Up and Coming Weekly is a weekly publication in Fayetteville, NC and Fort Bragg, NC area offering local news, views, arts, entertainment and community event and business information.

Issue link: http://www.epageflip.net/i/1303741

Contents of this Issue


Page 12 of 24

12 UCW OCTOBER 28-NOVEMBER 3, 2020 WWW.UPANDCOMINGWEEKLY.COM COVER STORY Local resources available for victims of domestic violence by KEYURI PARAB e month of October is recognized as Domestic Violence Awareness Month to bring attention to the continued prevalence in the community and highlight resources and infor- mation available to victims and those trying to help them. About 1 in 4 women and 1 in 9 men expe- rience intimate partner physical violence, according to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence. Taking a closer look, about 43.9% of women and 19.3% of men in North Carolina experience intimate partner physical violence, intimate partner sexual violence and/ or intimate partner stalking in their lifetimes. "We have seen an increase in calls not only in our county but in surrounding counties and out of state, all domestic violence shelters are filling up and staying at capacity," Amy White, program director for Care Center Family Vio- lence Program said. "As a result of COVID-19, many shelters to include the Care Center have had to reduce our capacity to be able to pro- mote social distancing and keep everyone safe from not only domestic violence but from the virus too." Cumberland County has a high volume of domestic violence cases, and most cases are referred to them by Child Protective Services, law enforcement, hospitals, and a lot of self- referrals, White said. "Our call volumes are pretty close to pre- pandemic numbers, but our crisis calls have increased from the short time-frame," she said. County Resources e Care Center functions under the Cumberland County Department of Social Ser- vices to provide domestic violence counselling and education to both victims and abusers, as well as a safe house in the event that a victim and their children need to flee from an abusive situation. White said the center offers a 24-hour crisis hotline, women and children support groups, as well as outreach to educate the community on domestic violence. e Center also has a victim advocacy program offering guidance in the legal system such as how to obtain domes- tic violence protective orders, with a victim advocate that can accompany the victim to court to be a support system. e Care Center offers support groups in English and Spanish for women and children who have experienced domestic violence. Another available resource at the Care Cen- ter is the 'Resolve Batter Treatment Program' for abusers who attend a 26-week intensive class to be educated about domestic violence and costs $175 dollars, she said. e Care Center sees the victim and the abuser separately and has three Human Servic- es Clinical Counselors that are assigned either to the victim or the abuser. e counselors pro- vide a domestic violence assessment (series of questions) to determine how much counseling the victim and the abuser would benefit from. Once the determination is made of how many sessions are needed, the victim and the abuser will begin counseling sessions. "During the sessions, our counselors focus on educating customers on what is domestic violence, how to avoid domestic violence, and provide coping skills to decrease the possibility of reoffending and victimization," White said. We don't allow them to graduate or get cer- tificates because we don't know if they reoffend or not, but focus on providing the indication they need. Often times the abusers that enter the program are court-ordered to attend or are on probation, she said. e Care Center is the only domestic vio- lence shelter in the county offers stay at an un- disclosed location where victims are escorted in by Fayetteville Police. "If someone calls in to get immediate shelter, we assess them to find out if they need emer- gency shelter, do they have any other family that they can go to and if they don't and then we accept them into the shelter," White said. e shelter connects victims with legal aid, medicine and clothing among other needs. Fort Bragg Resources Fort Bragg's Family Advocacy Program has eight victim advocates and a 24-hour hotline said Tom Hill, program manager at Family Advocacy which falls under Army Community Services. e program focuses on prevention but also provides advocates for victims of partner abuse. "e one thing we do have to tell them if an advocate is talking to them is that 'hey if you bring up that you have been abused by your spouse or partner or child has been neglected, then the Family Advocacy Program kicks in which is mandatory,' and there's a review board that goes over each case," he said. Hill said if victims aren't ready to give their names yet and want to be anonymous, the pro- gram will help them as much as they can. Hill said that when working with soldiers, advocates remind them that there are rules of engagement in a combat zone and rules of engagement when they're at home too. "Say a wife catches her husband cheating on her, she maybe punches him or something and a lot of us would do that but rules of engage- ment, you can't let your feelings get the bet- ter of you and not strike out," Hill said. "Folks really need to know that this program will kick in if you have lost your temper and abused a spouse or a child." e Family Advocacy Program will inform the servicemembers command within 24 hours of a reported case. e Army offers a variety of rehabilitation efforts and corrective behavior programs, Hill said. All reports of abuse are taken very seri- ously, he said. A repetitive offense may lead to a discharge from service. About i in 4 women and 1 in 9 men experience inti- mate partner physical violence. In North Carolina, 43.9% of women and 19.3% of men experience inti- mate partner physical violence, sexual violence and/ or stalking in their lifetimes.

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of Up & Coming Weekly - October 27, 2020