Home isn’t always a safe place. That’s why the Domestic Violence Project Inc. (DVPI) works to provide help and healing to victims of domestic violence and their families in Stark County.
“It doesn’t discriminate. It’s not just men or just women. It’s not poor or rich or Black or white or any of those. It effects everyone,” said Board President Julie Elkins. “Domestic violence doesn’t discriminate at all.”
In 2019, the organization provided more than 1,397 nights of shelter to men, women and families—397 people altogether—in its two emergency shelters, as well provided legal and medical assistance, shelter, outreach and education to 3,900 people. It also fielded 3,400 calls to its 24-hour emergency hotline.
Domestic violence is more common than people realize. One in four women and one in seven men will experience it, Elkins said.
“Domestic violence is something that is a cycle,” she said. “It’s not just as easy as ‘Why can’t you just leave?’ It’s a lot more complicated than that.”
And domestic violence is not just limited to physical violence or between people who are married, she said.
That’s why DVPI works with survivors to formulate a survival plan so when they’re ready to leave, they can. And they work with partner organizations to offer wraparound services so that survivors have all the help they need.
The organization accepts monetary and in-kind donations of household supplies and other items. On its website, dvpi.org, you can access a list of most-needed items and a link to the organization’s Amazon Smile page where you can purchase items and have them shipped directly.
In December, they also offer a chance to help families in need through Project North Pole, which allows folks to adopt a family currently in a shelter.
If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic violence, DVPI can help. Contact the 24-hour hotline at 330-453-SAFE(7233).