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Help the shelter help others

In conjunction with Domestic Violence Awareness Month, the Genieve Shelter has begun a special campaign aimed at raising the money necessary to retire the debt on its emergency shelter.

The shelter was established to provide, according to its website, “a safe refuge and supportive environment for the victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking, and human trafficking” and to help provide information, education, training and other resources aimed at breaking the cycle of domestic violence.

Serving the cities of Suffolk and Franklin, the town of Smithfield, and the counties of Isle of Wight, Southampton and Surry, this nonprofit organization has been a refuge for hundreds of women and their families since it was founded. Its services are offered free of charge, and it has proved invaluable to women and their children who might have had no other place to go where they could escape potentially life-threatening situations.

According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, one in three women and one in four men have experienced some form of physical violence by an intimate partner. Such incidents account for 15 percent of all violent crime in the U.S. On a typical day, the website states, domestic violence hotlines record 21,000 calls, about 15 every minute.

Here in Virginia in 2012, 17,664 domestic violence crimes were reported to Virginia law enforcement agencies. NCADV says many more such incidents went unreported.

Viewed against the backdrop of those statistics, it is clear that shelters such as the one in Suffolk are a vital resource for battered women and their children.

The goal for the Genieve campaign is $170,000, which the organization is trying to meet through a variety of efforts, including the “Dollar a Day” campaign for Domestic Violence Awareness Month. There is also a GoFundMe page for supporters and businesses to donate.

You can help. For more information, visit thegenieveshelter.org.