October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Though this column often focuses on ways to stay active and fit, one cannot ignore personal safety as an element of healthy living. The City of Boise Police Department shows that reported cases of domestic violence are decreasing slightly. However, that does not take into account those cases which remain unreported. And furthermore, even one case is too many. Domestic violence is not restricted by race, income, social class, neighborhood, or language. It exists in every segment of our society, and affects thousands of families in our community. You may not recognize a domestic violence victim, even though it may be a neighbor or coworker, or perhaps your child’s teacher or someone who works at your bank. But they are out there, and they need help.
Here in Boise, there are a number of resources available for those facing the threat of domestic violence. One of the most recognizable is the Women’s and Children’s Alliance (WCA), which helps those in need by offering safety, healing and freedom to victims of domestic abuse and sexual assault. Founded in 1980 and located at 720 W. Washington St., the WCA operates a secure emergency shelter which provides housing for 90 to 120 days, as well as two transitional homes. Among the services they offer are two 24-hour domestic violence and/or rape crisis hotlines, individual counseling for adults and children, group counseling for adults and children, victim therapy and support groups, rape victim advocacy, case management, court advocacy (protection order assistance), child and adolescent outreach, and substance abuse counseling for women and their children. They also offer safety planning sessions, parenting education, and Life Skills classes.
Victims of domestic violence often feel they are trapped in their current situation, with no hope for escape. Breaking the cycle may seem impossible. But that is not the case, and the WCA is available for help and support, 24 hours a day.
If you or someone you know has been a victim of domestic violence, please seek help. You may call the WCA’s Domestic Violence Crisis Center Line at (208) 343-7025, or their Rape Crisis Advocacy Line at (208) 345-7273. Both lines are open 24 hours a day.
To receive all of the Boise Healthy Living Examiner’s articles, click on subscribe or the RSS feed button above. Each week, you’ll get articles on Need to Know, and Good for You Food of the Week, plus seasonal features like Healthier Holiday, Broncos Challenge, and more.