When you ask her if she is OK, she tells you she is just clumsy and tripped or fell down the stairs by accident. Or maybe you hear your neighbors arguing every night and things breaking, and the baby crying, and you just don’t know what to do or how to help.
These “stories” are all too real at the Family Violence Program. They are not make believe, and they happen all too often.
The Family Violence Program serves victims of domestic violence, rape, and sexual assault in Bradley and Polk County. The funding comes from state and local sources, including the Office of Criminal Justice Programs, United Way of Bradley County, and local donations.
The FVA also operates the Harbor Safe House, which is a safe house where victims and their children who are in immediate danger can go to escape their abusers. The Hotline (423-476-3886) is answered 24 hours a day/seven days a week.
The organization also provides court advocacy for victims who need someone to help them in court, support groups, crisis counseling, rape and sexual assault services, and community education.
Last year the Family Violence Program served 983 clients. All of these services take money to provide. Many of these victims and children will leave their homes with only the clothes on their backs. Funding has been very flat, with no overall increases over the past 15 years. However, we have seen an increased need in our community to serve people.
If you have the desire to help a worthwhile cause, please contact Angie Faulkner at 423-303-3525 or Catherine Rice at 423-303-3519 for more information.