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District 4 HRDC's Domestic Abuse Program changes name to Victim Services

Pandemic increasing need for services


As of Monday, the Domestic Abuse Program at District 4 Human Resources and Development Council has changed its name to Victim Services in an effort to better reflect the breadth of its services they provide, and clients they can take.

“We felt that, although we provide services to victims of domestic abuse, we wanted to be more inclusive to members of the public that need our services for things that aren’t domestic violence-related,” Victim Service Specialist Jennifer Jordan said.

The program provides safety planning, orders of protection and emergency sheltering for victims as well as legal accompaniments, support groups and advocacy.

Jordan said she the thinks the name change will more accurately reflect the organization and will draw in more people they can help.

“I think that we miss a lot of victims in town, being able to help them, because of the words domestic abuse,” she said.

Jordan said this change is something the organization has been contemplating the change for a while, but a recent event made clear how needed the change was.

“It really came to our attention when we had the high school kids come for an event here,” she said, “… The kids were supposed to come to each table and for a specific issue, and no one was coming to the domestic violence table because they didn’t think their issue was domestic abuse related.”

Jordan said many of victims of domestic abuse don’t think their issues classify as domestic abuse even when they do, and she hopes this name change will help draw in some of those individuals as well.

She said the change is particularly important during the COVID-19 pandemic, which she said, has exacerbated the problem of domestic abuse.

“There has been rise in domestic violence incidents all across the nation, and even all across the world,” Jordan said, “We’ve seen that impact locally as well, we have seen our numbers go up.”

“As quarantine orders took effect all over the country and state, we saw tensions in the homes of some our clients and some of our non-clients, the tensions rose in the home, victims are more isolated and are more at risk,” she added.

Jordan said she doesn’t think the pandemic has created domestic abuse issues in homes where none existed before, but that it has made the problems already present worse.

“Everyone is isolated together and it’s creating a lot of stress,” she said.

Jordan said she and her colleagues are encouraging those who think they might be victims of domestic abuse to reach out to them any way that they can during the pandemic.

She said the office’s phone number is open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, and they are accepting walk-ins as well.

She also said the program’s 24-hour crisis line, 265-2222, is still operational during the pandemic.

Jordan said no signage at the building has been updated yet, and she and her colleagues are focusing on getting the word out about the change through social media and flyers which will be going out this week.


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