[published: 10/15/2014] in Director's Corner
In 1980, EVE opened the doors to begin the mission to “prevent family violence and sexual assault through education and intervention while providing supportive services to survivors; thereby promoting a safe and healthy community and improving the quality of life.” In the beginning, EVE was located in an old house that had been renovated to serve as a place of refuge for those who were fleeing violence in their homes. It was there that the women’s movement of the 1970”s elevated the awareness of domestic abuse and began to bear results.
Today the mission of EVE continues with a larger facility, improved programs, and policies that have been developed from the knowledge of domestic violence gained over the years. Best practices have been developed that are a far cry from those early days, when law enforcement handled domestic violence calls by telling the perpetrator to take a walk around the block and “cool down.”
In 1994, the Violence Against Women Act was signed into law as part of the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act. This required a coordinated response to domestic violence and sexual assault. Today, programs at EVE recognize the importance of the community response through the Washington County Domestic Violence Task Force. This year the Sexual Assault Response Team Protocol began a re-evaluation process with the assistance of Marietta College and funding from a Violence Against Women Act grant.
The focus on meeting the needs of sexual assault victims was a priority this year as EVE was provided funding from the Department of Health to increase the awareness of EVE’s advocacy and prevention in the areas of sexual assault. A support group specially for survivors of sexual assault was revitalized, increased counseling hours were offered, and hotline advocates were provided extra training on sexual assault.
We would like to express our gratitude to all the community agencies that assist us in carrying out our mission statement, the Board of Directors, who diligently support us, the community who volunteer countless hours and provide support in ways too numerous to mention, and to the EVE staff, who tirelessly provide support, advocacy, and education to improve the quality of life in our community.