Posted on Apr 18, 2019
Domestic violence is one of the most serious problems and darkest stains on our society. The statistics are stunning: 3 million to 5 million women are in abusive relationships today. Nearly 20,000 are killed — and for each killed, there are 8 to 9 murder attempts. Furthermore, it takes the average DV victim nine to eleven attempts to permanently break away before they successfully do so – for those who are successful. Adds WRC’s Laura Horst, “And all of these issues are incredibly under-reported, due to victims’ fear of being caught by their abusers, so the actual numbers are much higher.”
Against that backdrop, WRC has helped thousands of women and children — and men, who also go through the program — to break the cycle of abuse, put their lives back together and return to the road to personal success. WRC’s Laura Horst reviewed the five types of domestic violence — physical, sexual, emotional, financial and verbal — and then laid out how the WRC works with victims, in conjunction with medical, counseling and law enforcement partners.
Services include 24/7 hotlines, case management, counseling, safety planning, medical care, advocacy, providing emergency 28-day shelter in their 30-bed facility (at an undisclosed location), transitional housing, a 52-week court-ordered batterer’s program, a thrift store, and so much more. Funding is provided by state and federal grants, donations, and sales from the WRC’s thrift store on Mission Ave. in Oceanside. Those interested can donated canned goods, clothing, appliances, furniture and other items to the thrift store; the furniture can also be used in WRC’s fully furnished transitional housing units.
“Our approach is to make the victims feel safe and keep them safe, get them the legal, medical and counseling help they need, and to help them rebuild their lives using an empowerment model,” Laura said.
Laura brought along one such WRC beneficiary, a single mother who will soon be graduating from Cal State-San Marcos. She has spent most of the past two years in the Transitional Housing program, and has participated in most of WRC’s activities. She spoke of arriving at WRC in deep fear, with no resources, and how the group helped her reclaim her self-respect, self-esteem, and life as she healed from her situation. Now, she is planning to move onto graduate school. Her story is deeply inspiring, and underscores why WRC won the Rotary Club of Carlsbad Peacekeepers Award — and why we will be doing our Rotarian at Work Day at WRC’s main office on April 27.