SYRACUSE, NY – “Women are beaten every three seconds in our nation,” according to Stacey Tanner, program director of the Jamestown Salvation Army Anew Center – Domestic Violence & Rape Crisis Programs. This speaks to the prevalence of domestic violence right here in our country. Three women die in the United States daily from domestic violence. This issue is important and the community should be aware of the services and help that are available.” says Tanner.
The Jamestown Salvation Army Domestic Violence program received 2012 The Salvation Army Social Services Award for Program Excellence and Achievement at The Salvation Army’s national Social Service Conference in Arizona last month.
This award recognizes territorial social services programs that have performed exceptionally, proved effective, achieved excellence, and model the Salvation Army’s Social Service ministry.
The Jamestown program was the selected winner out of the Salvation Army’s entire Eastern Territory which includes Connecticut, Delaware, Northeast Kentucky, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.
In addition to receiving $5,000 and being presented an award, Jamestown Salvation Army Domestic Violence program is featured in the Army’s national publication, Caring.
The establishment of this program dates back to Christmas Eve night in 1985 when the Salvation Army Domestic Violence program began in response to helping a battered woman and her children. Since then, the shelter, its programs and services, have been a vital service provider for those in need in Chautauqua County. Over the years, it has become the designated referral agency for all county-mandated domestic violence services and fully licensed and accredited by the New York State Office of Family and Children Services.
As a measure of their impact in the community, the Salvation Army Domestic Violence program has been asked to participate in the new judicial Integrated Domestic Violence Court starting up in the county. NYS’s United Court System Integrated Domestic Violence Courts serve families by allowing a single judge to hear multiple case types— criminal, family and matrimonial—which relate to one family where the underlying issue is domestic violence. As a component of this, The Salvation Army’s Domestic Violence program offers comprehensive services for women, children, and men victims.
Additionally, the Children’s Division has been asked to present to other domestic violence centers on their programming. The community has been eager and very supportive of the program by volunteering nursing, legal and reading services along with donations of food, clothing and personal products. It also serves as a field placement site for area colleges and universities.
While receiving respect and recognition from the community, the victims helped and “doing the most good” are the hallmark of the program. An example of the care and compassion shown include:
- A small city like Jamestown is not immune to the international problem of human trafficking. A woman, who immigrated to America on a Fiancé Visa, was a victim of physical, sexual, financial and emotional abuse. Police contacted the Salvation Army to provide assistance. During her stay she was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer. Her dying wish was to return to the Philippines to her home and family. The Salvation Army worked diligently with agencies, the FBI, her family and airlines to ensure she was able to return home. Although staff was sad to learn of her medical condition, she was able to escape her perpetrator, get appropriate medical attention and return home to be with her family.
Though men are not typically thought of as victims of domestic violence, these instances do occur. The Jamestown Salvation Army Domestic Violence program is one of two NYS Salvation Army shelters that recognize these needs and offer services to not only women and children, but men as well. Rather than staying in the same Chautauqua County shelter as the women and children, men are provided alternative safety locations.
Men receive the same case management services as women and children which are not limited to assistance in housing, legalities, protection, and education. The Salvation Army Domestic Violence program is dedicated to helping all victims of domestic violence—men, women, and children alike.
Operating at almost 100% capacity, The Salvation Army Domestic Violence program continues to serve the Chautauqua County area as a resource for faith, loving and healing to those in need. Last year, the program helped 181 families begin to turn their lives around.
“No community is immune to the problem of domestic violence,” said Major Donald Hostetler, Empire State divisional commander, who nominated the program. “The Salvation Army Domestic Violence Program in Jamestown is a bright beacon in the community for those in need. The success of their program and the respect it garners within the community is a blessing, but their true blessing is the many courageous women and men who have turned their lives around to provide a safe, stable family life for themselves and their children.”
“When [people] come to our door, the kindness and caring demonstrated by the staff, the homelike atmosphere of the house and the support of our community all combine to offer loving hope to them,” said Major R. Douglas Hart, Jamestown Corps Commanding Officer.
Domestic violence is a tragedy world-wide. It is sometimes easy to forget that these devastating situations occur within our own communities. However, with such extensive services being offered in Chautauqua County, there is no reason for any abusive case to go unnoticed. If you or someone you know may be suffering from domestic violence, end the abuse today by contacting the Jamestown Salvation Army Domestic Violence services at 800.252.8748 or 716.483.0830.
About The Salvation Army
The Salvation Army, an evangelical part of the universal Christian church established in London in 1865, has been supporting those in need in His name without discrimination for more than 130 years in the United States. Nearly 30 million Americans receive assistance from The Salvation Army each year through the broadest array of social services that range from providing food for the hungry, relief for disaster victims, assistance for the disabled, outreach to the elderly and ill, clothing and shelter to the homeless and opportunities for underprivileged children. 82 cents of every dollar The Salvation Army spends is used to support those services in 5,000 communities nationwide. For more information, go to www.salvationarmyusa.org.