XENIA — Family Violence Prevention Center is offering Greene County residents the opportunity to fund its mission at its annual event, An Uncommon Affair: Denim & Diamonds, 6 p.m. Friday, April 6 at the Greene County Fairgrounds Assembly Hall.
Attendees will be able to support the center at 380 Bellbrook Ave. — which offers safe housing, counseling and community programs — directly through hand-picked, mission-specific activities.
Executive Director Deborah Matheson said she hopes these activities will allow donors to feel personally connected to the domestic violence shelter’s work.
“We’re reaching out and holding hands with partners in the community,” Matheson said, “and really trying to connect with them and do good work to impact the community.”
According to Harmony Byrd, child and family counselor and community relations coordinator, a value will be attached to different areas of service that the center provides on a day-to-day basis.
A hot shower, a meal, a phone call; these are a few examples she listed.
“We enjoy that hot shower. When we need to call a friend if we’re having a concern, we have that opportunity to have a warm voice on the other end of the phone,” Matheson said. “We can imagine if we were in crisis that it would be helpful for law enforcement to come and for a supportive voice to be behind that intervention.”
According to the director, the center’s teen dating violence prevention program is especially in need of funding. The program partners FVPC officials with local school districts and focuses on educating middle school and high school students.
“There will be different opportunities for folks to fund the material that we utilize in the group, to sponsor students to participate in the group, or to sponsor a whole class,” she said.
The second major focus of the evening will be the shelter’s partnership with local law enforcement. Matheson said a FVPC social worker follows up on each domestic dispute and case of violence that the jurisdictions handle.
“So folks will be able to support that crisis intervention that we provide to victims,” she added.
Matheson said each year there are between 1,500 and 1,600 law enforcement reports of domestic violence or a case of dispute. Research shows about 40 percent of victims will call law enforcement while 60 percent will not.
Local residents can be a direct part of these critical partnerships, the women explained.
“We want to help people understand we do have those connections and if they do something to help us that night they’re going to be a part of that,” Byrd said.
Contact Anna Bolton at 937-502-4498 or follow @annadbolton on Facebook.
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