By Ashley Wilson
Rise Above Violence
As a community, we need to be the voice for those who are shamed into silence. Our community cannot continue to say that domestic violence is a private family matter; we must choose to get involved.
Domestic violence tears the very fabric of a community; it creates pain, impacts the economics of a community. It changes family units and creates fear and hurt, which has repercussions for years ahead. The lasting consequences of domestic violence is the harm it does to families, to children witnessing violence committed against their parent, to the health of victims and the reverberations of hurt that echo in our community.
Domestic violence has a profound local impact. Four hundred victims sought services from Rise Above Violence in 2020 and we know that many more do not come forward for help. This is an issue that very likely impacts someone you know: someone you go to church with, someone you work with, your child’s classmate or friend, or your neighbor. This makes it a very real issue that our community faces every day and one we can all be part of ending. We can bring this “private issue” out of the darkness and end the silence.
Three ways to be part of the solution today:
1) Be a voice: Share out on your social media, talk about the issues; that way people in your life will know what you are a safe person to go to for help if needed. That can be hard and it may sound scary, but Rise is here to help. As a support person to a victim, you can encourage them to get help; if they are not ready, Rise is here to help you. One person can make the difference in a victim’s life and help them get on the path to healing.
2) Volunteer: Rise is always in need of volunteers. There are options based on what you are most interested in. Hotline volunteers receive training from Rise staff and help to provide coverage for our 24/7 hotline. Hotline calls are answered 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year so that a victim always has help. You can also volunteer for events — we need people to help the day of and help on planning committees.
3) Support: Flexible funds that Rise received through donations provide the opportunity to help a victim with items they need most. Much of the grant funding limits what funds can be spent on. Rise is working to raise $25,000 by the end of the year to start a fund that is flexible and can meet victims where they are. You can give a onetime gift or sign up to be a monthly giver as part of the Snowball Club. As little as $10 a month helps to answer one hotline call. Every dollar matters.
And, right now, we have an amazing opportunity. A generous anonymous donor has pledged $5,000 as a matching gift. So, for every dollar you give, it is doubled until we hit the $5,000 mark. This makes your dollar go further. Find out more at: www.riseaboveviolence.org.
Rise is a 501(c)3 nonprofit that provides 24-hour support and advocacy services for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault or other forms of violence, serving over 350 victims each year. Rise also works to eliminate violence through education for youth and our community. All programs and services are free and confidential, including emergency prevention education and empowerment programs. Visit www.riseaboveviolence.org for more information or call (970) 264-9075 to talk to an advocate today.