(The Daily Dish) We are continuing the conversation about Domestic Violence Awareness this week and providing education and information to viewers. Today, Surae is speaking with Bevin Owens from the Dove Center in St. George, Utah and talking about programs that are available to school kids.
Something that makes them a little bit different than other service providers in the state of Utah is that they have spent time developing their school-based empowerment groups. Bevin tells us that this was done as a prevention effort on their end to some upstream prevention which means that they’re addressing the problem long before it can ever become a major problem.
The Dove Center has a great working relationship with school counselors in the Washington county school district which allows them to identify kids that have risk factors.
Certain risk factors can include low self-esteem, known domestic violence in the household and there are other items that can fall into this category. Once they’ve identified these kids with risk factors, they can ask them if they would be interested in joining their group. They emphasized that they want to make sure they have consent and provide these kids with empowerment so it’s the students decision.
Once they have the consent, they are able to work one-on-one with the students and provide fun lessons and then teach them self esteem and de-escalation techniques so if they’re ever in a situation they can channel in to the knowledge that they learned and access these resources to get out of the situation and help with breaking the cycle. While working with kids in their shelter so they get to see them and work with them at the school and also in the shelter and hopefully they are comfortable in the environment.
The Dove Center has a large list of resources available to serve Washington and Kane counties. They have an emergency shelter and if somebody comes into their shelter it’s anywhere from 30 to 90 days that they’re staying at the center so that they can do an assessment to determine their eligibility. Once they’re able to find out if they’re eligible then they can come in and get services. Those services are provides for men, women and children.
Last year (2020) The Dove Center received about 2,600 calls for people accessing resources. They’re available for people who may have questions about friends or loved ones or even if they find themselves in the situation of domestic violence, they have a hospital response team that is trained advocates that go in and they work as a victims advocate if somebody with domestic violence or sexual assault comes through.
The Dove Center does a lot of prevention and community outreach to get their community to gain knowledge and growth, and support for what they’re doing because it’s a very scary thing to go through and it’s very common. If you’d like to get involved, click here.
One in three women experience domestic violence at some point in their life and calls increased tenfold during the COVID pandemic. This is due to people not being at work and having to be quarantined and being at home really took away the safe place that people would go to. Many women would go to work or go to school and that was a little bit of a break from that abuse and removing that from them really made them so much more vulnerable as well as the added stress people went through.
To reach out to a DOVE Center Advocate you can visit their website or you can call one of the numbers below:
- DOVE Center 24-hour Helpline: (435) 628-0458
- DOVE Outreach Center: (435) 628-1204