Our agency has outgrown our existing facility, precipitating the need for additional space to accommodate personnel as well as additional victims. Currently, we can only house 18 women and children in our emergency shelter. Due to the shelter remaining at maximum capacity, oftentimes victims are referred out of our service area to seek safe refuge. Victims should not have to leave behind their support systems, such as friends, family, parish and co-workers, in order to escape abuse. With a larger facility, the agency will be able to serve more victims and minimize the need to relocate victims to unknown communities where their support is lacking. Victims frequently choose to remain or return to their volatile situation rather than relocate to an unfamiliar community. Oftentimes, rural battered women find it challenging to leave the home and the land and animals that depend on her, leaving her surrounded by walls of guilt and self-abasement. All of these obstacles intensify an already complex issue in regards to intimate partner violence. DVACK has identified an existing building that would better suit our needs and double the number of clients we can shelter, permitting victims in Northwest Kansas to remain in close proximity to their hometown. Grant funds will be used to renovate the third floor of the new facility, which will occupy the emergency shelter. As a result, DVACK will be able to increase shelter capacity from 18 to 36 victims of domestic and sexual violence and their dependents.
DVACK hopes to achieve an impactful, lasting change to community members in Northwest Kansas. In 2017, DVACK served 909 victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking, human trafficking, teen dating violence and/or elder abuse. Through this building acquisition and renovation, we will be able to assist more people through the healing process by intervening during crisis and assisting victims with attaining the life skills necessary to achieve self-sufficiency. DVACK is the only accredited domestic violence and sexual assault agency providing lifesaving services to victims in the ten counties we serve. By increasing shelter capacity, our hope is to never have to turn away another victim who needs safe shelter. DVACK will be able to provide emergency shelter to twice the number of victims in the new facility. In doing so, more people from Northwest Kansas will be able to seek safe refuge, living a life free from abuse.
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