Chaska Rotarian Scott Knight introduced Stephanie Smith, the community Engagement Coordinator for the Southwest Valley Alliance for Battered Women. The Alliance is a recipient of funds from our 2018 gala.
Stephanie’s educational efforts include groups like ours, high school students, and now extend to middle school children. Her focus on dating violence appears to be especially important because violence between couples is a learned behavior, and children growing up where it is present may not recognize it as unacceptable. This type of aggression and need to control another is pervasive within our society — it occurs across the range of education, incomes and residences. Statistics were presented that illustrate the widespread impact of extreme domestic violence, In the period of 2001 to 2012 about 12,000 women were killed in the USA.
Stephanie noted that good role models of positive or healthy relationships appear to be absent from media and other influences. She gave us a Power + Control handout that illustrates characteristics of physical and sexual violence in relationships. The factors that inhibit women from leaving abusive environment appear daunting: loss of transportation, employment, change in the social support available for the spouse and children, and information on how to hide from the abuser. Stephanie asked that employers put up “potty posters” in workplace restrooms to communicate the presence of the Alliance. She also asked the men in the room to hold others to acceptable standards of behavior.
Programs sponsored the Alliance include:
- 24-hour Crisis Line, 952-873-4214
- Criminal Justice Intervention
- Legal Advocacy
- Safe Home Program
- Support groups
- Latina Advocacy
- Children’s Visitation Center
- Community Engagement and Training
You can support SVABW at its gala April 27 at Mystic Lake Casino or anytime at its website: www.svabw.org.