The $20,000 grant will be used to provide safe emergency housing to victims of abuse and their children in Wood County.
During Domestic Violence Awareness Month, shelters are feeling the impact of a weak economy.
According to the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University, shelter donations are down but the need for services is increasing. To help make sure needs are met, the foundation started by the late Mary Kay Ash is donating a total of $3 million in grants to shelters in all 50 states.
“This grant gives us much-needed cash and hope,” said Michelle Clossick, executive director of The Cocoon Shelter. “The problem of domestic violence in Wood County isn’t going away and neither is the need for funding. Programs to help victims of abuse and their children require a lot of resources that are diminishing.
“We’re grateful that the Mary Kay Ash Foundation is stepping up to the plate in help us help families in Wood County, especially as we face significant losses with some of our state funding.”
According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, domestic violence affects one in every four women in the United States. Nationally:
• The Cost of intimate partner violence exceeds $5.8 billion each year, 4.1 billion of which is for direct medical and mental health services.
• Boys who witness domestic violence are twice as likely to abuse their own partners and children when they become adults.
• Eighty four percent of spousal abuse victims are female and the risk of serious injury and death due to domestic violence is much higher for women.
The statistics in Wood County are just as startling. According to the NCADV, more than 2,000 victims of domestic violence receive assistance daily in Ohio. On a typical day, 141 victims in need of services in Ohio are not assisted due to lack of resources and services available – mostly due to lack of funding, staff and resources.
In Wood County, domestic violence is the number-one cause of murder. In the last decade, 83 percent of the murders in Wood County have been the result of domestic violence (nationally 30 percent of all homicides involve domestic violence.)
Local domestic violence homicides have all been perpetrated by men against primarily female victims.
The Cocoon Shelter is the first and only shelter for victims of domestic violence located in Wood County. The shelter opened its doors June 14, 2005 and during the first three years, it provided 6,351 days of safe emergency housing to 138 victims of abuse and their children.
During the last year alone, Cocoon saw a 73 percent increase in calls for assistance. “We attribute these increases to outreach efforts, the declining economic stability of so many families and increased need for services as a result of tragic domestic violence homicides in our community that continue to keep the deadly risk of domestic violence in the forefront,” Clossick said.
Cocoon provides safe emergency housing accessible 24 hours a day by calling the Link (419-352-1545 or 1-800-472-9411). To inquire about donations, service projects or volunteering, contact the shelter at 417-373-1730 or Cocoon@CocoonShelter.org or visit www.cocoonshelter.org.