Domestic Violence Defined
Domestic violence is defined as abuse between two or more adults who live together in a relationship characterized by power and control. It can include emotional, verbal, psychological, sexual, financial, spiritual, and physical abuse. It is estimated that over half of women experience some form of domestic violence at some point during their lives. The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence estimates that every year 3 million women are physically abused by their partners, and 1.3 million women are raped by their intimate partners. Domestic violence (DV) is a serious problem in our society. One woman dies every week from domestic abuse.
Domestic Violence and Homelessness
A report by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development found that nearly half of all homeless people are victims of domestic violence.
Many women fail to leave their abusers out of fear of homelessness, unemployment, and even losing custody of their children. The reality is that their lives are in danger and the time will come when it is no choice, it is a question of life and death not just for themselves but for their children. More than a third of DV survivors report becoming homeless immediately after separating from their partners. As housing and employment are the cornerstones to rebuilding independence after abuse, our agency is working to provide three levels of care or response from emergency to short-term to long-term housing to prevent clients from re-entering the homelessness system while addressing homelessness as a reason to not leave/return to a relationship. Everyone deserves to have safe and sustainable housing and housing support is often the first step from victimization to survivorship for our clients.
What is a DV Shelter?
Women who experience DV often fear retaliation. They also worry about their children being hurt or killed. The YWCA Monterey County DV shelter is a place where victims and their children can go to escape domestic violence and abuse. It provides safety, support, and services to victims while our trained advocates work with them on safety planning and next steps. The location always remains confidential.
Women’s Emergency Shelter through YWCA Monterey County
YWCA Monterey County provides shelter in a secure and confidential location for women and children experiencing abuse but the need far surpasses our current ability.
- 6/1-6/22 3 week period we had 185 calls to our Crisis Line
- 21 + families are on a waiting list for access to our DV Shelter both women and children
- We offer next level, transitional housing but this too is full
- We are constantly in need of hygiene products for our families, such as diapers and feminine products
With so many organizations competing for limited financial assistance, we need your help. Our shelter currently has fifteen beds, five for adults and ten for children. There are a number of households on our waitlist; expanding our capacity by even another five beds is crucial.
We also want to expand our service area, and provide shelter in locations across the county. We want to help people get back on their feet, regardless of where they live. We want to offer them the opportunity to heal and recover, and we want to give them a safe place to stay while they’re doing so. We understand that distance, travel costs and need for proximity to support networks all play into someone choosing to access DV Shelter services or not.
Domestic Violence Programs Successes
We provide a range of services to help victims of abuse and their children. These include mental health services, counseling, legal assistance, shelter and guidance to gain employment, help finding long term housing, and other resources. We also provide resources to help access financial aid to those who need it.
Our recent successes in the 3 week period in June included:
- Clients supported to access CalFRESH, CalWORKs and Workforce Development
- From safety of Shelter, 2 clients were able to obtain Temporary Restraining Orders in court.
- Relocated two separate clients out of state
- Offered temporary motel accommodation to clients in need of emergency services
- Assisted with long-term sustainable housing for 3 clients
- Planned appointments for 6 further clients with the Housing Authority
Transitional Housing For Domestic Violence
While we provide immediate emergency shelter to women and children fleeing domestic violence, we also provide access to transitional housing. Currently we offer temporary (up to 6 months) free accommodation and access to support services for up to 4 women and their children while we work with them on their ultimate goal, finding long term, sustainable hosing. but in some cases, transitional housing is needed. With more support, we could do so much more!
Can you Help us Reach our Goals?
If you’re reading this, you may already know what domestic violence looks like. You may even know someone who has experienced it. But if you haven’t supported our organization yet, we hope you’ll consider donating to help families escape abuse. Every dollar counts, and children that escape abuse today will create a better future for the children of tomorrow. Please help us reach our target of increasing the number of clients we serve month to month.