It’s heartbreaking to know that one in four women in Hendricks County are victims of domestic violence, but it’s encouraging that there is a place of safety and healing right here in our community – Sheltering Wings Center for Women.
I recently spoke with April Bordeau, Executive Director of the organization. October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and I asked her how I could help get the word out about domestic violence, and what the community can do to help.
She gave me these suggestions:
Steps to Help Someone You Suspect is Being Abused
- Talk in a safe place.
- Express your concern for the person’s safety.
- Don’t underestimate the danger. Call 9-1-1 if necessary.
- Take the time to listen, and believe what you hear.
- Be patient and supportive. Changes take time.
- Be non-judgmental. Encourage the person to make their own choices.
- Call the 24-hour domestic violence hotline for assistance at (317) 745-1496.
How to Help an Employee or Co-Worker
- Be aware of unusual absences, behavior, bruises or emotional distress.
- Contact the human resources manager to discuss concerns, resources and ways to support the employee.
- Be familiar with community resources and referrals.
- Maintain confidentiality; these are often life-threatening situations.
- Make sure safety managers and other personnel are aware of anyone who should not be able to contact her.
- Assist her in documenting any incidents that occur in the workplace.
- Provide financial/in-kind support to local domestic violence programs and encourage employees to volunteer.
The shelter provides what they call “DV safety cards” to businesses free of charge that can be put in a public restroom.
Why a public restroom?
“We find that victims are often closely watched by their abuser, and these cards are small enough for them to stick in their shoe undetected, and hopefully contact us later,” April said.
Upcoming Community Events
If you would like to be involved, here are some upcoming opportunities:
- Teen Dating Violence & Safe Dating, 6:30 p.m. on October 22 at Sheltering Wings. 1 in 3 youth is a victim of abuse from a dating partner.What can you do to protect your teenager? What should you teach your sons? How can recognize if your teenager or a friend of yours is in an unhealthy relationship? Come learn about Teen Dating violence by someone who has been there.
- How Workplace Violence Affects the Workplace, 6:30 p.m. on October 29 at Sheltering Wings. If you supervise staff, this workshop is just for you. Come learn about the laws related to domestic violence and how abuse affects the workplace.
Click here to learn more about how you can get involved.