Greene County Domestic Violence Center Emphasizes Prevention and Intervention
- Published: October 11, 2012
In October 1981, the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV) initiated the first “Day of Unity”—a program designed to coordinate the efforts of advocates for battered women working to end domestic violence against women and children across the country. And since 1987, the NCADV has designated October as Domestic Violence Awareness Month in the United States.
In Greene County, the Family Violence Prevention Center (FVPC)—informally known as the “Xenia Women’s Shelter”—was initially located in a couple of different homes and apartments in Yellow Springs.
Susan Stiles was the founder of the Greene County Domestic Violence Project, Inc., which later changed its named to the FVPC. She said the first women’s shelter was located in one of the Twin Coach apartments in Yellow Springs.
Stiles, who directed the program from 1979 to 1988, said that during those nine years the program expanded and moved the shelter four times into larger accommodations.
“Programs included prevention programs at elementary, middle, and high schools, a crisis line, court advocacy, shelter and supportive services, transition housing, and community awareness,” Stiles said. She added that during her tenure several Yellow Springs residents were on the board of directors and were very supportive of the organization.
Yellow Springs resident Jerry Sutton, an engineer and lawyer, is president of the FVPC board. Over the years he has mediated divorce cases and is committed to promoting awareness about domestic violence.
“The objective is to break the cycle,” Sutton said. “If someone grows up seeing violence in the home, you assume that’s how you relate, and you carry it into your relationships.”
A recent PBS documentary, “Half the Sky” by former Dayton Literary Peace Prize Winner Nick Christopher, documented the severity of violence against women around the world. In recent years, investigative reports and documentaries have exposed an alarming number of incidents of rape and violence against female soldiers within the U.S. military.
“Females have been unduly put down,” Sutton said. “And here we are in the 21st century, and this is still going on in many segments of our society.”
The mission of FVPC is to reduce family and relationship violence and its impact in Greene County through prevention, intervention, safe-housing and collaborative community programs. The FVPC’s mission includes the following services:
- Prevention: education in our schools, training families to promote violence-free relationships.
- Safe Housing: providing a 24-hour crisis line, emergency shelter, and short and long-term transitional housing to the victims, both adults and children.
- Intervention: counseling (adult victims, batterers, children), education and therapy groups.
- Outreach: getting the word out through community presentations, speaking engagements, and the volunteer program
FVPC continues to seek board members and volunteers to help with fundraising and awareness raising activities. For more information please contact Cheryl Haney at 426-6535.