Merritt Royal, Development Director May 13 marked my one-month anniversary as development director for the Northwest Arkansas Women’s Shelter. As one can imagine, the shift from a higher education fundraising background to a community-focused social/human service nonprofit presents new learning opportunities. As a new employee with the Northwest Arkansas Women’s Shelter, I want to share with you some of the insights I have gained as I reflect upon what I have learned in this first month.
- The Northwest Arkansas Women’s Shelter is committed to its top priority of providing safety to victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. We have advocates and resources that help guide victims through the process of preparing to leave, navigating the court system in the filing of protective orders, and making decisions for themselves to find a safe and supportive place to live. I have learned that it costs $58 per day per person to live in the shelter—a cost that is free to victims who are eligible to live in our Shelter. For an adult with two children, the cost borne by the Shelter for one safe day is $174.
- Empowerment is the model used by the Northwest Arkansas Women’s Shelter. Whether a person lives in our shelter or utilizes our services as an outreach client, our advocates help clients develop self-awareness so that they become responsible for their own choices. air max pas cher pour femme And the good news is 93% of our clients who have lived in the shelter tell us, as they leave, they intend to choose a safe place to live rather than return to the abusive environment.
- While we naturally desire each client to always choose to end the cycle of abuse, that does not always happen. nike tn pas cher For a variety of reasons—including economic dependence—some victims do choose to return to the abuser. I have learned that the process of choosing to lead a life that is violence-free is complicated, with a victim often returning to the abuser 7 times before finally choosing to end the cycle. lunette de soleil oakley pas cher The staff and Board of the Northwest Arkansas Women’s Shelter treat each person with the greatest level of integrity. This means a victim is treated respectfully and is shown the same level of compassion and support, regardless whether he/she is a first-time client or a seven-time client.
- Men are also victims of domestic violence. Leadership of the Northwest Arkansas Women’s Shelter is concerned about ending domestic violence in our community—regardless of gender, age, race/ethnicity, sexual identity, or sexual orientation. Our services are based upon inclusion of all members of our community. I have learned that 4% of adults who lived in our shelter in 2014 were men (that is 1 out of every 25 adults). I also have learned that domestic violence is not limited to only spousal or intimate partner relationships, but can include other familial relationships: in-laws, adult children, or adult siblings are examples.
- I have learned that the Northwest Arkansas Women’s Shelter leadership is interested in not only addressing the basic service needs of immediate safety–the band-aid to this complex social issue–but also in finding a sustainable solution to end domestic violence in our community. Education is a key approach toward truly making an impact. ray ban homme pas cher The Northwest Arkansas Women’s Shelter partners with area public schools, health officials, corporations, and law enforcement to raise awareness and to provide preventive education. Increasing visibility of the issue and of the services we provide is a priority for our Board.
Safety – Empowerment – Integrity – Inclusion – Education
I have learned these core values of the Northwest Arkansas Women’s Shelter are evidenced in each day’s activities and focus. nike requin pas cher I recognize I have so much more to learn. I also have so much to share.