On Wednesday, January 29, The Haven Shelter & Services, Inc., will join other local and state agencies in Richmond to request funding for educational programming to prevent domestic violence and sexual assault. Advocating to fund Prevention Bills, SB 297 (Favola and McClellan) and HB 1015 (Herring) that were passed earlier this session, The Haven strongly supports a budget request of $5 million for expanding community-based agencies’ sexual and domestic violence prevention programming across the state.
The Haven is asking residents to call and e-mail their elected representatives on Legislative Advocacy Day, January 29, to support funding to expand evidence-based programs that have been proven to reduce the incidence of domestic violence.
Currently, The Haven's Community Resilience Team (CRT) works with students in Rappahannock, Northumberland, and Richmond counties. Students graduating in Richmond and Northumberland counties leave having participated in multi-session healthy relationship/dating programs each year since they were in middle school. They graduate with a solid foundation in ways to navigate all kinds of relationships in a non-violent manner. Additional funding would make it possible to build that same foundation in the other counties we serve.
The Haven is one of the 16 out of 35 agencies that can offer these programs with what current support is available. Approval of funding for SB 297 and HB 1015 could fill an important gap for so many students who do not have the advantage of this vital programming across the state. The Haven urges you to make your voice heard by calling and emailing your representatives.
The Haven’s CRT staff also provides training and technical assistance related to the development of policy and practice that reduces the chance of initial perpetration of sexual and domestic violence and promotes a swift and effective response to sexual and domestic violence.
Ellen Yackel, Executive Director of The Haven, emphasizes how “intervention services for those who have experienced sexual and/or intimate partner violence are expensive services to provide, and no amount of money can fix the damages to children and adults who have experienced such violence. Prevention services are far more cost-effective and significantly reduce the number of individuals carrying the physical and emotional scars of violence. Maybe one day we can tip the scale and reduce the need for intervention services. To do that, every community in the state of Virginia needs to have access to evidence-informed or evidence-based prevention and resilience strategies and well-trained program facilitators.”
To find your legislator, visit https://whosmy.virginiageneralassembly.gov/.
The Haven Shelter & Services, Inc. is committed to preventing and eliminating all types of domestic violence and sexual assault within our service area, which includes Westmoreland, Richmond, Essex, Lancaster and Northumberland Counties. The primary focus of The Haven’s mission is to provide advocacy and shelter for individuals who experience intimate partner and sexual violence as well as to provide support services to individuals and their families. To greater further its mission, The Haven seeks to enhance public awareness of domestic violence and sexual assault through community outreach and education and to bring about systems change. For more information visit havenshelter.org.