October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, a time for the community to come together to build awareness and a movement towards safe and healthy relationships for all individuals and families.
“Domestic violence touches every person in our community and society as a whole; and violates a person’s dignity, safety, and basic human rights,” says Safe Haven Center board member Ann Burchett.
This past May, local residents who serve on the Green Hills Women’s Shelter Board of Directors gained enough votes to pass a resolution that transferred complete oversight and management of the Chillicothe Women’s Shelter to the Livingston County Educational and Housing Council. The shelter was renamed the “Safe Haven Center” and obtained a new phone number: 660-646-1753. To contact the local shelter, this is the number that should be used. There is no toll free number at this time.
Pam Hull, a full time advocate, serves as the residential manager of the local shelter. Board members include Trent Gann, Margaret Mata, Martha Berry, Sheriff Steve Cox and Ann Burchett.
The shelter has a service area of Livingston and surrounding counties, but will assist victims who present themselves in finding help wherever they will achieve the greatest success. Victims are not required to stay at the shelter location in order to get help. Women and children in the non-residential program receive all the same benefits and services as the residential program. A police report does not have to be filed in order to receive services, and visible injuries need not be present to obtain help.
“Volunteers are desperately needed, and the board would like to encourage former volunteers to get in contact with the shelter or one of the board members so we can get them involved again,” Burchett said. “Our shelter was once a thriving resource in our community, and there is work to be done to restore it to its former state. The group hopes to involve many local individuals and organizations to develop and deliver programs and events to help victims of domestic violence.
Also in the works are two fundraising events in the coming months. The group plans to hold a “Break the Silence: Light the Night” event on Thursday, Oct. 24, from 6 until 8 p.m. more details to come, and a Spaghetti Dinner and fun night at the Grace Episcopal Church on Thursday, Nov. 14 from 5:30 until 7:30 p.m. The Safe Haven Center invites the entire community and county to join the movement for a safer and healthier community by attending its awareness events.
“We need you to help us make a difference and hope to provide a fun outing for families and individuals,” Burchett said.
Monetary donations are appreciated and can be sent to: Safe Haven Center, P.O. Box 346, Chillicothe, MO 64601.
Page 2 of 2 - Safe Haven Shelter asks local businesses, churches and non-profit organizations to replace any existing phone tear-offs, brochures and other materials of the previous shelter with the new information. Any organizations in need of these items, should contact Ann Burchett at the Livingston County Health Center, 646-5506.