Partnership with Clark County Domestic Violence Prosecution Center Brings Mental Health Services to Abuse Survivors and Their Families

In our Fall 2017 issue of The Chronicle, we told you about a new program at the Clark County Domestic Violence Prosecution Center made possible by the Waldon M. Groves Fund, a Charitable Fund of the Community Foundation of Southwest Washington. Now, a year later, we’re reporting back to you on the impact of this program!

Responding to Victims’ Needs

Children who witness domestic violence are six times more likely to commit suicide — so its vital our services go hand in hand with those of the Clark County Domestic Violence Prosecution Center (DVPC). It can be difficult to recognize the more subtle ways in which children may demonstrate their need for mental health support. All too often, children who do not present with problematic behaviors are overlooked.

Our therapists knew regular face time with DVPC advocates would help keep mental health services top of mind when helping victims access services. And a flexible schedule would make it easier to attend court dates and respond to urgent crisis situations. These became key priorities for our program, and paid off when one such crisis occurred earlier this year.

Rapid Response to Crisis

It all started one morning when Children’s Center received a phone call about a woman and her three young children. They had recently escaped a long-term domestic violence situation. (Imagine for a moment the fear, distress, and uncertainty one would face under such circumstances!)

A rapid response was initiated and by that afternoon, the woman and her children were able to meet with our therapist at the Domestic Violence Prosecution Center. The therapist greeted them with a bag of groceries provided by a Children’s Center donor.

The therapist made sure the woman was connected to a domestic violence program and an immediate housing plan. She also connected the children to Children’s Center’s school-based therapists. (Receiving treatment in the school context relieved the mother of the burden of transporting the children to the Center for multiple appointments.) Since that initial meeting, the mother has continued to receive support from the on-site therapist.

Collaborative partnerships like this help make Clark County a safe, strong community for every family and child. We’re proud to play our part!

Program Impact:

 Over 84 families gained access to mental health support and other community resources
 New partnership with YWCA’s Domestic Violence Program, to expand services to survivors outside the legal system
 Stronger relationships with the DVPC, YWCA, Children’s Justice Center, local schools, and medical providers
 Formal and informal education to DVPC advocates about subtle ways children show a need for mental health support

Grant Locks in Program Funding for 2019

We’re thrilled to announce that the Community Foundation of Southwest Washington has provided a grant to continue the funding for this program for a second year. Your generosity is truly appreciated!