Harleys and Octoberfest raise awareness of domestic violence

by The City Wire staff ([email protected]) 84 views 

What does the color purple mean to you? To some, it means prevention for domestic violence. Three women die everyday due to domestic violence and most of the time it is at the hands of their intimate partner. In Arkansas in the last 12 months, 13 women have lost their lives to domestic abuse.

October is national domestic violence awareness month.

Supporters of the Donald W. Reynolds Cancer Support House and Crisis Intervention Center came out Saturday (Oct. 20) at the Old Fort Harley Davidson in Fort Smith for Octoberfest and to help support domestic violence awareness efforts. Guests were treated to German food and live entertainment. The Crisis Center had a 50/50 cash pot drawing and door prizes, along with a silent auction on art made by the children at the center.

The event was sponsored by the Old Fort Harley Davidson Motorcycle Shop. Scuba Steve said, “We focus on events that help the community. We supply the food and drinks and all proceeds go to the nonprofit organization.”

The Crisis Intervention Center helps women who have been domestically abused. Some of the services they offer are 24 hour crisis line, safe house, on-site sexual assault exam room, one-on-one advocacy, casework counseling, child advocacy, and parental support just to name a few. All services are provided free.

The center can hold up to 32 residents and is complete with a child care center. Families are held up to 45 days. This year, the center has faced a 30% cut in funding and is operating on a shoestring budget. The biggest expenses for the center are utilities and food. Everything else is covered by grants. In a year's time, the utilities run $40,000 and food costs are as high as $19,000.

The center also needs volunteers to help watch children while parents are in group meetings. The center also takes donations of clothing for the women and children who come to the center. Girl Next Door is a resale shop on Lexington who takes in home furnishings for the center and all proceeds go to the center.

Following are stats from the Crisis Center website.
• Every nine seconds in the U.S. a woman is assaulted or beaten.
• Of female homicides in the U.S., 42% are of women murdered by an intimate male partner.
• Around the world, at least one in every three women has been beaten, coerced into sex or otherwise abused during her lifetime.
• Domestic violence is the leading cause of injury to women – more than car accidents, muggings and rapes combined.
• Studies suggest that up to 10 million children witness some form of domestic violence annually.