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‘It happens everywhere, it can happen to everyone;’ local shelter strives to address domestic violence

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Raise Up Your Voice 2020

Raise Up Your Voice 2020

HUNTINGTON, WV (WOWK) — We’ve been keeping you updated with the changes to the annual ‘Girls Night Out’ — now, ‘Girls Night In’ —fundraiser underway this week to support domestic violence shelters in Charleston, but domestic violence can occur anywhere.

Shelters elsewhere in the Mountain State are working to help people through their most challenging moments—even in a pandemic.

“We have stayed full the entire time of the pandemic. We have had to turn people away, find hotels, different shelters for people.  The services are still so necessary.

Amber Ross, director of client services, Branches Domestic Violence Shelter

It can occur anywhere, to anyone.

“It is very important to have this kind of service available because unfortunately there are a lot of victims of domestic violence in our area, a lot of people who need help, and we are the only licensed provider in the area. 

Amanda Weiss-McComas, executive director, Branches Domestic Violence Shelter

The area referred to by Weiss-McComas covers all of Cabell, Mason, Putnam, Lincoln and Wayne counties.

Domestic violence is an issue which has not abated just because a pandemic is happening.

“A lot of people have been isolating in their home.  Isolation is a big factor in domestic violence, so it can make it very difficult for a victim to get out of the house to access those services.”

Amanda Weiss-McComas, executive director, Branches Domestic Violence Shelter

Which is why ‘Branches’ adapted a more tech-based model of reaching out.

“We have shifted toward tech-advocacy more-so.  We are learning how to be safer online, how to provide services off-site of our shelter for people who still need them. 

Amber Ross, director of client services, Branches Domestic Violence Shelter

With the ‘Girls Night In’ fundraiser happening in Charleston, representatives from Branches Domestic Violence Shelter want folks to know they can get help anywhere, anytime.

“It happens everywhere, it can happen to everyone, and we’re seeing so much more of it now but that’s why we’re still here to help.” 

Amber Ross, director of client services, Branches Domestic Violence Shelter

If you need more information about the services offered in Huntington, call Branches’ 24 hour toll-free crisis hotline at (304) 529-2382, or (888) 538-9838. You can also visit their website.

If you want to learn more about the ‘Girls Night In’ fundraiser, visit their Facebook page.

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