Domestic and sexual violence are not limited to any particular ethnicity, race, religion, class or nationality. One only needs to read the newspapers, watch the news, connect to any social media outlet or talk with any of the survivors we work with at Independence House on a daily basis if there is any doubt about this fact. The Independence House team comes together every day with a unified mission and shared sense of purpose of our work together for and with survivors of domestic and sexual violence to bring about positive change and response to domestic and sexual violence. We have a shared commitment to supporting survivors, preventing domestic and sexual violence and fundamentally contributing to an improved quality of life for adult and children survivors. We are told often that there is a strong sense of positive energy and caring that is transmitted from all of our staff at all our locations across the Cape.
All of this work and positive energy is possible because of the commitment of the staff, all the relationships, partnerships and collaborations we have fostered for 37 years…and of course funding.
Independence House is fortunate to expand our responses to survivors of domestic and sexual violence as a result of recent significant increases in our funding through MOVA VOCA funds (through the 1984 VOCA grant from OVC, OJP, U.S.D.O.J. and the Victims of Crime Act). One of the elements of our expansion that we are particularly pleased to share is our dedicated services to provide unlimited free advocacy and counseling to children who are victims of sexual assault. Through this expanded funding, we have hired a Child Trauma Specialist who will focus 100% on building this program and providing quality counseling response to children who are sexually assaulted. As an agency that frequently receives inquiries for child sexual assault services, this position increases our capacity to respond to the needs of these children and their non-offending caregiver, parent or guardian. Our work will be limited to addressing only the aftermath of sexual assault and we will continue to collaborate with our community partners who address other important and critical aspects of child sexual assault. We are privileged that this funding has filled a need that we lacked the resources to meet before; and we now serve survivors of sexual assault across the lifespan from 6 years old to 79 years old.
In addition, this increased funding has also resulted in significant increase of our staffing Cape-wide to robustly meet the needs of survivors of domestic and sexual violence.
Executive Director, Independence House, Inc.