Follow The Republic:
A shift in focus to prevention, training and education has Turning Point Domestic Violence Services seeing some positive trends.
The effort to reach a younger audience is evident in the number of presentations given to youth groups, from two in 2005 to 715 in 2012, said Lisa Shafran, Turning Point’s president.
Shafran, in remarks during the nonprofit agency’s annual meeting Thursday, said involving and educating youth is just one way Turning Point will continue to fight domestic violence.
The organization also works with police and medical organizations on the front lines when a case of domestic abuse occurs.
The number of Bartholomew County families served through outreach programs has grown, too, from 368 in 2011 to 470 in 2012, Shafran said.
“The key to our success is finding a way to break the cycle of violence,” said Shafran, who took over as the agency president in June. She replaced Pat Smith, who stepped down after 14 years.
Getting in front of the problem is important because national statistics show that only 2 to 3 percent of domestic violence victims seek emergency shelter in times of crisis, Shafran said.
The number surprises some people but highlights the need for the wide range of assistance offered, she said.
Turning Point Board Chairman Dave McKinney said he has learned a lot about domestic violence, including how pervasive it is throughout communities and that more than 50 Indiana residents lost their lives from domestic violence during the past year.
Turning Point, which has its administrative offices in Bartholomew County, also serves Brown, Jackson, Johnson, Jefferson and Shelby counties.
It offers avenues of help such as a crisis phone line, education sessions and support groups, learning how to file a protective order and assistance from case managers.
While efforts have evolved in recent years to focus more on prevention and training, crisis help and emergency shelter always will be available, Shafran said.
Shafran praised the dedicated staff, which coordinates the daily work of the agency, and thanked the many community supporters and volunteers.
These include those who bake cakes for children celebrating birthdays at the shelter, those who helped build a new agency website and police who answer calls in the middle of the night.
Shafran, who previously worked at Heritage Fund — The Community Foundation of Bartholomew County, said she quickly saw the culture of respect and accountability at Turning Point. She also saw the desire to not just help victims but reduce future cases of domestic violence.
“I wanted to be part of an organization working toward a solution,” Shafran said.
Think your friends should see this? Share it with them!
Note: All comments left on our sites are first reviewed by an automated comment moderation system. Your comment may take up to 5 minutes to appear. If for any reason your comment can not be approved you will receive an email from this system with a detailed explanation.
All content copyright ©2013 The Republic, a division of Home News Enterprises unless otherwise noted.