Lauren Beck wrote -
More Americans have been murdered as a result of domestic violence than were killed in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan combined in the 11 years from 2001 to 2012.
One in five women will experience severe domestic abuse in their lifetimes, and 4.7 million women will experience domestic abuse this year. Three women are murdered every day by an intimate partner. Every nine seconds, a woman is beaten. Domestic violence is the leading cause of injury to women—more than car accidents, muggings, and rapes combined. This abuse affects some 10 million children each year.
These are our friends, colleagues, family members.
And this is not just a women’s issue. One in seven men and two in five gay men will experience domestic abuse in their lifetimes.
Will you help us support these families for a healthier community through SafePlace?
DID YOU KNOW WHAT YOUR DONATIONS COVER?!
$25 - 2 calls to our 24-hour emergency hotline
$50 - 1 Week of Baby Formula
$100 - for 1 day of in-hospital support services for a survivor of sexual assault
$250 - 1 day of operating costs at the school
$500 - 14 hours of counseling for a person healing from sexual or domestic violence
$1000 - 10 days of food for every adult and child living in shelter
SafePlace is Austin’s resource for emergency and ongoing services related to domestic violence and sexual assault and has just teamed up with the Austin Children’s Shelter under the SAFE (Stop Abuse for Everyone) Alliance. Services include emergency shelter, a food pantry, a K-12 charter school, job placement assistance, legal services, ongoing counseling services, pet fosters, and long-term transitional housing, in addition to the new Eloise House, where victims of sexual assault can get a rape kit and receive additional counseling and support. To highlight the need for these services in our community, SAFE initially expected to perform about 100 rape kits per year at Eloise House, and has done over 200 since opening in June.
These are great stats, but our community still has significant need for these services. Each year, there are 8,500 domestic violence reports in Travis County and estimates indicate that more than five times as many people are living with a violent partner. Awareness and support are critical to turning these lives around, particularly when children are involved. Often, survivors leave their homes with little more than whatever might be in their purses to face the most dangerous period in the relationship – women are 70 times more likely to be murdered by their partners in the two weeks after leaving than at any other time. Then they must face the hard work of rebuilding their lives and overcoming the lasting psychological impacts of domestic violence and sexual assault. While the prevalence of PTSD in veterans is estimated at 10-30%, among domestic violence survivors, it is estimated at between 40-80%. Domestic violence can destroy lives while at the same time has a major impact on our economy. Each year, domestic violence costs our economy $120 billion in lost wages, direct health care, social welfare, law enforcement and legal costs.
SafePlace is doing great work on these fronts, but depends on philanthropic support to provide and expand its services. Of its $9.2 million budget in 2015, only half came from government funding. This is why Illuminate Austin, it’s main fundraiser in the year, is so important to its success and the work it does in our community, which is critical to so many survivors and to the health of our city.