Wednesday, February 21 , 2018, 4:00 pm | Fair 60º


Dawn Sproul: Why We All Need to Support Domestic Violence Solutions

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, but for me, raising awareness will not stop there.

Dawn Sproul
Dawn Sproul

My first encounter with Domestic Violence Solutions was after an incident in my life. I felt vulnerable, scared and emotional. I was fortunate enough to be referred to their amazing staff. DVS enabled me to have a new perspective on my experience and provide me a clear mission to help support DVS and woman in need of their services. I am grateful for their leadership and for empowering women in very difficult situations.

One of DVS’ many programs includes the Domestic Violence Emergency Response Team (DVERT) where the DVS staff responds with law enforcement to domestic violence 9-1-1 calls and offer support, advocacy, and access to safe shelter.

DVERT helps women navigate through very traumatic experiences and help them report the incident woman-to-woman, which helps ease the experience. A DVERT advocate holds their clients hands through paperwork, reporting and court appearances. DVS is someone to trust. I had hands-on experience in working with this team when I was feeling overwhelmed, scared and afraid to talk about what had occurred.

Recently, I nominated DVS to receive a $1,000 donation through CoxCares, my workplace community grant program. When I delivered the check to DVS in person, I discovered the many ways DVS helps victims of domestic violence, beyond DVERT.

Programs include four 24-hour hotlines, teen outreach and education programs and counseling services for women and children affected by domestic violence. DVS provides the county's only 24-hour shelter service for women and their children, as well as the county's only transitional housing program for domestic violence survivors.

Since my visit, I have committed to raising awareness and momentum surrounding domestic violence awareness, and have become actively involved in the cause. I serve on the Planning Committee for the upcoming DVS 5K Run/Walk for Love, and have solicited the support of my co-workers to build a fundraising team.

I am committed to sharing the message that domestic violence takes many forms, and transcends gender, economic situations and education backgrounds.

If you’re wondering how you can help, join me and Domestic Violence Solutions on Saturday, Nov. 1 at Goleta Beach for the first-ever 5K Run/Walk for Love or support DVS through the Run for Love website by clicking here.

Please help Domestic Violence Solutions raise critically needed funding to support victims in our community, and help end abuse. I am grateful for their cause and in-turn, encourage you support the community where we live and to take a step to end domestic violence in Santa Barbara.

— Dawn Sproul is a Planning Committee member for the Domestic Violence Solutions 5K Run for Love.

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