Domestic violence shelter launches new monthly podcast

Community

HUNTINGTON, WV (WOWK) — For advocates at Branches Domestic Violence Shelter in Huntington, outreach and advocacy are key in community awareness, but the pandemic forced them to cancel or change many events they would’ve normally done.

So, they came up with a way to spread information to the community through a new medium.

“I wanted to do something really different, and really creative. So we thought, maybe the podcast is the way to go.” 

Sara Blevins, director of development, Branches Domestic Violence Shelter

‘Root For Each Other: A Branches Podcast,’ is aimed at looking at the dynamics of how domestic violence impacts different communities, and how people can be cognizant of it and help.

“We believe that one of the best ways to prevent domestic violence is to work towards a trauma responsive community.”

Sara Blevins, director of development, Branches Domestic Violence Shelter

For Sara Blevins, the first step towards realizing that goal is the ‘Root For Each Other’ podcast.

Creators of the podcast say one of the best things about this medium is accessibility—the fact that anyone can listen to them anytime, anywhere, and safely.

“The beauty of a podcast is that it’s a really powerful tool for reaching people individually.  They can listen to it on their own, they can share it, it’s a great way to share it with your community, but also that discretion was really an important factor.” 

Sara Blevins, director of development, Branches Domestic Violence Shelter

Marshall University Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice Dr. Wendy Perkins spoke on the very first episode of ‘Root For Each Other’ in January:

“Knowledge is power. And not only is knowledge power, knowing how to use that knowledge is power. And I felt like it was really important for people to know that we have good resources here in our area.” 

Dr. Wendy Perkins, assistant professor of Criminal Justice, Marshall University

The podcast is a partnership with Marshall Digital Humanities, and Blevins says they will continue to put out one episode per month for the rest of 2021.

However, she hopes it can continue beyond that.

“I think it’s necessary because we’re actually talking about a way to save people’s lives. The more that you know, the more power that you have to be able to intervene and advocate for someone in a real meaningful way.” 

Sara Blevins, director of development, Branches Domestic Violence Shelter

‘Root For Each Other: A Branches Podcast’ is completely free and is available in Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and through the Branches Domestic Violence Shelter website here.

For more information about Branches Domestic Violence Shelter, visit their website here.

For more stories from Natalie Wadas, follow her on Facebook and Twitter.

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