By: Jenn Nussbeck, Hope House

Hope House, a domestic violence advocacy agency with a 37-year commitment to survivors and their families, announces the launch of “The Courageous Journey” awareness and fundraising campaign. The campaign aims to shine a light on the rise in domestic violence during the COVID-19 pandemic and the need for additional resources to help support those impacted by domestic violence.

The COVID-19 pandemic has created various unforeseen challenges and exacerbated the barriers faced by survivors of domestic violence. For example, the combination of factors such as shelter in place orders, loss of income, reduced capacity of emergency shelter facilities, and cancellation/continuation of Order of Protection dockets and Municipal Court cases has made it more difficult for survivors to safely plan and leave their abusive partner. Survivors are most at risk of serious injury and/or death when leaving or immediately after leaving their abuser. All of these issues demonstrate the need for support for survivors, now more than ever, in order to ensure their safety and physical and emotional wellbeing.

Although Hope House has made changes to service provision during the pandemic, services continue to be provided in Jackson County for any adult or child survivor of domestic violence. Currently, neither of Hope House’s shelter locations are operating at full capacity in order to lower the risk of disease transmission. This reduction of onsite capacity has been made possible by placing survivors and their dependents in the Hope House’s Hotel Placement Program. The agency has also had to work quickly to move clients from crisis to permanent housing for their health and safety, which requires funds to remove any barriers that might prevent them from securing housing. These include paying for deposits, past due bills, eviction fees, rent and utility payments, and other financial needs. Moving survivors from the agency’s shelters to permanent housing quickly not only increases the likelihood of their success, but it also allows more survivors to be served overall.


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The stigma of domestic violence permeates society and perpetuates its existence. The myths and misperceptions of domestic violence that are held by society remain in our communities, and unfortunately, continue to be a major barrier for victims. Commonly held myths center on victim blaming and not fully understanding the power and control dynamics of domestic violence. Examples of such myths and misperceptions include “They must’ve said something”, “They’re too nice of person. Their partner must’ve done something to provoke them”, “If it’s really that bad, they would leave”, “It must really be their fault”, and “but they’ve never hit their partner.” These statements and commonly held beliefs about domestic violence echo the power and control tactics used by abusive partners and further reinforce to a victim that no one will believe them.

When children are also involved, the above-mentioned stigmas regarding victims of domestic violence are compounded. Society often blames victims for staying in a violent relationship and putting their children in danger. When in reality, staying may be the victim’s safest option for themselves and their children. Society, on the whole, does not fully understand that the most dangerous time for a victim and their children is when they are attempting to leave or have recently left a violent relationship. Additionally, an abusive partner may be awarded custody or unsupervised visitation with their children; leaving the victim again at the mercy of their abusive partner. Lastly, post-separation abuse is more likely to occur when children are involved. An abusive partner can use discussing matters of the children as a tactic to continue to stalk, harass, and abuse a victim. “Domestic violence has escalated during the COVID-19 crisis. This is a crisis inside a crisis,” said MaryAnne Metheny, Hope House CEO. “People who were already in an abusive relationship find themselves facing more extreme violence, unable to escape to a safe shelter or find safety and refuge through family, friends, co-workers or neighbors. Abuse thrives in silence and we hope this campaign sheds more light on those who have been continually victimized long before stay-at-home orders went into place.” Says Metheny.

The campaign will run through mid-August, featuring real time data of domestic violence calls, cases, and demand for services. The campaign will also highlight and feature interviews and videos with law enforcement, DV prosecutors, advocates and survivors. Without advocacy, community support and partnering agencies, the journey to safety and prosperity may not be possible. It is critical, life-saving support.

To make a donation or to learn more about The Courageous Journey campaign visit hopehouse.net/campaign.


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By: Jenn Nussbeck, Hope House
Hope House, a domestic violence advocacy agency with a 37-year commitment to survivors and their families, announces the launch of “The Courageous Journey” awareness and fundraising campaign. The campaign aims to shine a light on the rise in domestic violence during the COVID-19 pandemic and the need for additional resources to help support those impacted by domestic violence.
The COVID-19 pandemic has created various unforeseen challenges and exacerbated the barriers faced by survivors of domestic violence. For example, the combination of factors such as shelter in place orders, loss of income, reduced capacity of emergency shelter facilities, and cancellation/continuation of Order of Protection dockets and Municipal Court cases has made it more difficult for survivors to safely plan and leave their abusive partner. Survivors are most at risk of serious injury and/or death when leaving or immediately after leaving their abuser. All of these issues demonstrate the need for support for survivors, now more than ever, in order to ensure their safety and physical and emotional wellbeing.
Although Hope House has made changes to service provision during the pandemic, services continue to be provided in Jackson County for any adult or child survivor of domestic violence. Currently, neither of Hope House’s shelter locations are operating at full capacity in order to lower the risk of disease transmission. This reduction of onsite capacity has been made possible by placing survivors and their dependents in the Hope House’s Hotel Placement Program. The agency has also had to work quickly to move clients from crisis to permanent housing for their health and safety, which requires funds to remove any barriers that might prevent them from securing housing. These include paying for deposits, past due bills, eviction fees, rent and utility payments, and other financial needs. Moving survivors from the agency’s shelters to permanent housing quickly not only increases the likelihood of their success, but it also allows more survivors to be served overall.

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The stigma of domestic violence permeates society and perpetuates its existence. The myths and misperceptions of domestic violence that are held by society remain in our communities, and unfortunately, continue to be a major barrier for victims. Commonly held myths center on victim blaming and not fully understanding the power and control dynamics of domestic violence. Examples of such myths and misperceptions include “They must’ve said something”, “They’re too nice of person. Their partner must’ve done something to provoke them”, “If it’s really that bad, they would leave”, “It must really be their fault”, and “but they’ve never hit their partner.” These statements and commonly held beliefs about domestic violence echo the power and control tactics used by abusive partners and further reinforce to a victim that no one will believe them.
When children are also involved, the above-mentioned stigmas regarding victims of domestic violence are compounded. Society often blames victims for staying in a violent relationship and putting their children in danger. When in reality, staying may be the victim’s safest option for themselves and their children. Society, on the whole, does not fully understand that the most dangerous time for a victim and their children is when they are attempting to leave or have recently left a violent relationship. Additionally, an abusive partner may be awarded custody or unsupervised visitation with their children; leaving the victim again at the mercy of their abusive partner. Lastly, post-separation abuse is more likely to occur when children are involved. An abusive partner can use discussing matters of the children as a tactic to continue to stalk, harass, and abuse a victim. “Domestic violence has escalated during the COVID-19 crisis. This is a crisis inside a crisis,” said MaryAnne Metheny, Hope House CEO. “People who were already in an abusive relationship find themselves facing more extreme violence, unable to escape to a safe shelter or find safety and refuge through family, friends, co-workers or neighbors. Abuse thrives in silence and we hope this campaign sheds more light on those who have been continually victimized long before stay-at-home orders went into place.” Says Metheny.
The campaign will run through mid-August, featuring real time data of domestic violence calls, cases, and demand for services. The campaign will also highlight and feature interviews and videos with law enforcement, DV prosecutors, advocates and survivors. Without advocacy, community support and partnering agencies, the journey to safety and prosperity may not be possible. It is critical, life-saving support.
To make a donation or to learn more about The Courageous Journey campaign visit hopehouse.net/campaign.

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