Genieve Shelter requests support

Published 9:13 pm Saturday, October 13, 2012

During Domestic Violence Awareness Month, the local women’s shelter is hoping to bring attention to the resources is provides for women and children who are starting life over after escaping abusive relationships.

“We’re trying to raise awareness about our services,” said Mary Williams-Davis, executive director of the Genieve Shelter. “We’ve had two victims in the last (year) who died because of domestic violence in Suffolk. We’re trying to prevent that from happening again.”

The organization provides emergency shelter, a permanent supportive housing program, therapy, support groups and resources to help victims find employment, get medical coverage and take care of other necessities — both material and immaterial — they may have had to leave behind.

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Williams-Davis said domestic violence typically increases during challenging economic times.

“A lot of people are suffering from stress,” she said. “People are losing their jobs, losing their homes, they have financial burdens.”

The shelter has to provide for its own operational expenses as well as many needs of the families it supports, Williams-Davis said.

“We’re fortunate to get the funding to serve at the same capacity as in previous years,” she said.

The shelter is trying to seek more community support in the form of volunteers, donations and in-kind donations, she said.

“We need more donors, and we need more volunteers,” she said. “There has been such an increased demand for services.”

Volunteers are especially needed during the day, she said, because many volunteers work and are unavailable during office hours.

In addition, the shelter accepts donated items such as paper products. With winter on its way, hats and scarves for children are especially needed.

“We had a lot of coats donated last year, but we have run low on hats and scarves,” she said. “We need stuff to get the kids through the winter.”