RIDGWAY — National Domestic Violence Awareness Month is observed in October, but abuse is something with which victims live year-round.
Throughout the month, many sport purple-ribbon apparel like T-shirts or stickers. Some agencies hold domestic violence victim candlelight ceremonies, while others host campaigns and fundraisers that benefit domestic violence shelters or agencies.
Organizations in Elk, Clearfield and Jefferson counties aim to offer services and resources and a “safe place” for domestic-violence victims to go.
CAPSEA — Citizens Against Physical, Sexual and Emotional Abuse, Inc — a Ridgway organization, serves more than 1,000 victims each year among all of its programs in Elk and Cameron counties.
CAPSEA Executive Director Billie Jo Weyant said throughout the month of October, organizations aim to increase awareness through social media, radio and newspaper resources.
“Educate yourself on signs and symptoms of domestic violence, sexual violence and child abuse,” Weyant said. “Also educate yourself about victim services in your community/county.”
In Elk and Cameron counties, CAPSEA is the primary resource for these victims and can provide resources about community groups, professionals, schools and civic organizations, Weyant said, as well as services provided there, signs of abuse and how to help.
“Abuse happens 24/seven, 365 days per year,” Weyant said. “Statistically, one in three and one in four men have been victims of some form of violence by an intimate partner within their lifetime. Approximately 20 people per minute are physically abused in the United States.”
If you or someone you know is in an abusive situation please contact CAPSEA, Inc. and we will provide confidential crisis counseling, support and related services 24 hours a day, plus an emergency shelter.
CAPSEA will be hosting a “10 for 10” raffle fundraiser, and its 10th annual “Polar Sweet Express” event Jan. 18, 2020, at the Johnsonburg Fire Hall.
The “Crossroads” project, a Community Action Inc. initiative, also has both a Punxsutawney and DuBois shelter, helping abuse victims with things like safety planning, counseling, education and prevention programs, relocation assistance, advocacy and emergency shelter.