‘It really makes a difference;’ increased funding given to domestic violence advocacy centers

MIAMI VALLEY — Two Miami Valley domestic violence advocacy centers were given $300 thousand to help support those who have been affected by domestic violence.

The Artemis Center in Dayton and the Family Violence Prevention Center in Xenia each received $150 thousand from the Office of Criminal Justice Services through the American Rescue Plan.

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Both centers told News Center 7′s Taylor Robertson the money was needed considering the increase in people reaching out for help after the pandemic.

“During the pandemic, it got pretty slow and quiet because people were sheltering at home and they weren’t really able to reach out,” Jane Keiffer, the executive director at Artemis Center said.

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However, now that the pandemic has calmed down, there has been an increase in the number of calls the centers have been receiving.

“People have an opportunity to think through what it is that they’ve been experiencing. They’re ready to reach out for some assistance and some support,” Debbie Matheson, the executive director at the Family Violence Prevention Center said.

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Both centers hope to use the money to increase staffing to better support the families in the Center’s care.

“We are going to be able to bring our staffing level up in the shelter to two staff members on every shift,” Matheson said. “It really makes a difference when someone who’s staying in our shelter wants to talk with somebody if there’s two people here, one person can make sure that the meal is coming out and the other person can have a conversation.”

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They also plan on increasing the staff who answer the hotline phones. Their hotlines are available for people to call 24/7, 7 days a week.

“The hotline shifts will be smaller so people won’t be as burnt out sitting on the hotline,” Keiffer said. “If you think about it, the vast majority of calls are happening during the day when children are at school. Abusers are at work, so we receive I would say upwards to 30-50 calls a day.”

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