Victims of domestic violence are not alone.
Hotlines, victims’ advocates and shelters provide emotional as well as legal assistance to sufferers of domestic violence.
There are 16 shelters in Utah that offer support to victims.
Provo’s shelter is called the Center for Women & Children in Crisis.
555 clients were sheltered in Provo last year, according to the Domestic Violence 2000 Annual Report.
The shelter offers free educational and therapy groups for domestic violence victims and their children, said Kim Kowallis, shelter manager.
The YWCA in Salt Lake provides shelter as well as a twelve-week prevention class and a domestic violence open support group for victims.
The prevention class teaches women to be aware of characteristics and warning signs of abusive partners. These signs include jealousy, intimidation, isolation and controlling behavior.
“At the beginning of a relationship, what looks like love and attention can really be dangerous,” said Shelley White, Director of the Women in Jeopardy program at the YWCA.
Victims’ advocates provide support in court as well as emotional support and resources.
“We are advocates for the victim amd represent them so that they’re voices are heard,” said Diana Anderson, North Utah County Victim Assistance Program Coordinator.
Domestic abuse includes physical, verbal, sexual, emotional and economic abuse.
“Domestic violence legally would involve physical injury, but we find most often that there is domestic abuse occurring long before there is physical violence,” Anderson said.
Anderson said she hopes that people will learn to detect the characteristics of a battering personality.
“The red flags are there, but we just don’t want to see them,” Anderson said.
The National Domestic Violence Hotline provides assistance to victims anytime and any day of the week. The hotline has access to information concerning crisis intervention, domestic violence and provides referrals to local service providers.
Advocates have received over 690,000 calls since its February 1996 inception.
The hotline answers calls from anyone seeking help, for themselves or for friends and family.
“It’s not only people that are reaching out to help themselves, but people that are reaching out to help others,” said Ashley Peterson, Communications Director of the National Domestic Violence Hotline.
Victims, which have suffered from domestic violence or rape, can contact the Center for Women & Children in Crisis by calling their hotline at 377-5000.
The YWCA can be reached at (801) 537-8000.