Help us support victims of domestic and sexual violence during this crisis.
The Laurel Center Intervention for Domestic and Sexual Violence provides services to victims of domestic and sexual violence in the Northern Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. We are considered an essential service in our community and have remained open during this challenging time. We are proud that we have been able to maintain most of our services while still looking out for the safety of our staff, volunteers, and clients. The hotline is staffed 24 – 7. Our emergency shelter remains open with safety precautions in place. Therapists and counselors continue to provide services to their clients via the phone. Advocates continue to work with those who need safety planning, court advocacy, or just someone to talk to. We are continually reaching out to the community to let them know we are here for them.
We know that the demand for our services is going to increase the longer the stay at home order continues. Countries around the world have experienced an uptick in domestic violence incidents throughout the COVID-19 crisis. While the majority of us are safe in our homes during this time, those who live in fear of domestic violence are not safe. They are now confined with their abusers 24/7. They are living with the threat of violence every minute of every day. The Laurel Center is ready to support these victims as soon as they reach out. However, providing emergency shelter requires resources. Women who enter shelter often come with very few belongings. We provide clothes, bedding, toiletries, and food for each resident and their children. Additionally, we now need personal protective equipment such as masks, gloves, and an abundance of sanitizers and cleaning supplies.
Our challenge is funding for our programs and emergency shelter. Our state grant funding covers about 70% of our expenses. To fully fund our programs, we rely on contributions from individuals, private foundations, and special events. Financial donations have decreased as people lose their jobs. Due to social distance restrictions, we have had to cancel three spring fundraisers, which is a combined loss of about $25,000. They will not be rescheduled at this point. We opened a retail store earlier this year as a revenue source but unfortunately, we had to close after about a month due to COVID-19.
Our community is a very generous one. We are reaching out on Giving Tuesday Now to ask for your support. Your contribution will go directly to those who are seeking shelter and support because of domestic and sexual violence. They need our help now more than ever. Thank you for supporting The Laurel Center!