In a world full of darkness, a superhero emerged to bring hope and courage to those affected by domestic violence. Batman, Wonder Woman, Spiderman, and his team of super friends made an appearance at a Womanhaven event on Oct. 21 spreading joy and inspiring change during Domestic Violence Awareness Month.
“We named it a Superhero event because we have to recognize the individuals in the community who are the heroes for serving the victims of domestic violence and the survivors,” said Gina Vargas, executive director of Womanhaven. “We need to honor the police officers who respond when home is not a safe place, the fire department. The agencies are letting people know they are not alone and connecting them with resources.”
The event, held at the Imperial County Courthouse yard, was a celebration of empowerment and support for survivors of domestic violence. Individuals from all walks of life came together to stand against this important issue. It was a successful event where children enjoyed games, Tae Kwon Do exhibitions, folkloric ballet, and the high school band.
Womanhaven provides a haven for women and their children who have endured the horrors of domestic violence. One of the organization’s most vital services is its emergency shelter. With warm beds and compassionate staff available 24/7, Womanhaven gives survivors a place to heal and rebuild their lives.
Their Violence Prevention program offers anger management group classes in English and Spanish for men and women who are batterers of their partners, or their children, or recognize their unhealthy reactions to anger and seek to improve their communication skills.
The Housing Department’s goal is to assist families or individuals who have been unable to pay rent or have too many barriers in keeping secure housing. A team of case managers creates an individual plan to reflect the family’s needs and obstacles to housing or any other necessities. The ultimate goal of the WomanHaven Housing Program is to help families find an indefinite and secure home.
Present at this event was the Imperial County District Attorney Victim-Witness Assistance Program whose mission is to support victims and witnesses with services that will help them cope with the aftermath of victimization and help make their participation in the system less difficult and burdensome. Victim Advocates are available to ensure victims are informed and supported through the entire criminal justice process.
“We collaborate with Womanhaven with a Domestic Violence Response Team that helps victims when they are in need, we will assign an advocate to help them through the process and we provide an array of services in collaboration with Womanhaven,” said Melissa Lopez-Moore, Program Director of Victim-Witness.
First observed in October 1981 as a national “Day of Unity,” Domestic Violence Awareness Month is held each October as a way to unite advocates across the nation in their efforts to end domestic violence.
Communities and advocacy organizations across the country connect with the public and one another throughout the month to raise awareness about the signs of abuse and ways to stop it to uplift survivor stories and provide additional resources to leaders and policymakers. Visit: https://womanhaven.org/ for more information.