By Jeanne LeFlore
Fundraiser set to benefit domestic violence victims
By JEANNE LEFLORE
A Hot Dog Bash and Bake Sale fundraiser benefiting a shelter for victims of domestic violence is set for Oct. 12.
The fundraiser for Kibois McAlester Care Center will be from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Save-A Lot grocery at 1732 Carl Albert Pkwy. in Tandy Town, organizers say.
During the event, $2 will buy two hot dogs, chips and a drink, said Connie Woods, KMCC manager.
Baked goods such as cookies and brownies will also be for sale during the event, she said.
Woods said the shelter is also hoping to let people know that the month of October is Domestic Awareness Month.
On Tuesday, McAlester Mayor Steve Harrison signed a proclamation naming October as Domestic Abuse Awareness Month in McAlester.
Meanwhile, Woods said KMCC gives victims of domestic abuse and their children a safe place to go.
“Our goal with bringing awareness to this problem is to try to eliminate domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking,” Woods said.
She said some of the services provided by the shelter include crisis telephone counseling, employment, temporary shelter, peer and professional counseling, assistance in obtaining community resources, housing and police assistance if necessary, hospital care, court advocacy, transportation, children’s services, sexual assault response and prevention programs.
Woods said those who run the shelter try to make it like a real home for the women and children who live there.
“We try to establish as close a home environment as possible,” she said.
“These children and women come into our shelter because of being battered and they usually leave their environment any way they can, with all personal belongings left behind.”
Woods said that the women don’t only leave material things behind.
“These clients are stripped of their self-esteem and all their dignity,” Woods said.
And she said many of the women come into the shelter without any means of support and with no income or finances to provide for themselves or their children.
Woods said that although she knows that the domestic violence problem may never end, her goal for the shelter is to be a “part of slowing domestic violence way down and preventing some of it.”
“The definition of domestic violence is the willful intimidation, physical assault, battery, sexual assault, and other abusive behavior perpetrated by an intimate partner against another,” Woods said.
“It is an epidemic affecting individuals in every community, regardless of age, economic status, race religion, nationality or educational background,” she said.
“Violence against women is often accompanied by emotionally abusive and controlling behavior. It is a pattern of dominance and control or power and control. Domestic violence results in physical injury, psychological trauma and sometimes death. The consequences of domestic violence can cross generations and truly last a lifetime.”
Woods said every nine seconds in the United States, a woman is assaulted or beaten.
“That’s more than six in a minute,” she said.
“In 15 minutes approximately 97 women will have been abused. An estimated 1.3 million women are victims of physical assault by an intimate partner each year and most cases of domestic violence are never reported to the police.”
“Three women are murdered by their husbands or boyfriends in the United States a day,” Woods said. “Domestic violence is the leading cause of injury to women, more than car accidents, muggings and rapes combined.”
For more information e-mail connie.woods@
Contact Jeanne Leflore at jleflore@mcalesternews. com.