Organizations provide resources to victims of Domestic violence

Kierra Deberry

Throughout the month of October, there have been events on campus to raise awareness of domestic violence and the resources available to victims. On campus and in the Bowling Green community, there are several resources directly focused on helping victims of domestic violence. 

Pam Hurt, assistant director of the Barren River Area Safe Space, has worked at the organization for the past 20 years. She said it is the only shelter for domestic violence victims in Glasgow, Bowling Green and surrounding counties. 

She said BRASS has received over 5,200 calls this past year and held 28 non-resident individuals at the shelter. 

“We do our best when it comes to our clients to keep them safe,” Hurt said. “At the end of the day, you have to have the mindset that you have done all you can with helping them.” 

Hurt said once someone calls the crisis line the organization does all it can to resolve the issue. If somebody calls and needs help with filing an order, criminal justice cases or relocating and finding somewhere to stay, she said BRASS is able to help.

Additionally, there are protective law orders in place for victims seeking shelter at BRASS. A victim can press charges once a referral is in place if a defendant on-site comes to the shelter trying to harass them. The referral will be put on file, and they may proceed with further action depending on what the case is about.

Another off-campus resource is Hope Harbor, located in Bowling Green. The non-profit organization serves 10 surrounding counties and provides free and confidential services to anyone impacted by sexual violence, according to its website. 

“We are committed to our community to affect social change to eliminate all forms of sexual violence, advocate for the rights of survivors of sexual assault and abuse, and provide specialized treatment interventions,” according to the website. 

Melanie Evans, the coordinator of WKU Student Conduct, provides services for students who are victims of sexual assault. She has been the coordinator since July 2014. The WKU Office of Student Conduct is located at Potter Hall. Evans said she encourages students in a domestic violence case to schedule an appointment with the office and file a complaint with a full description of the incident. 

Another resource available to students is the WKU Counseling and Testing Center, located in Potter Hall. Students can schedule an appointment between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. 

Elizabeth Madariaga, the sexual assault services coordinator, aids students dealing with domestic violence. She said the center is a substantial support system for students dealing with domestic violence cases. 

Additionally, Madariaga said the counselors and office are also required to keep things confidential between the students and their counselors. Star, the counseling center’s animal-assisted therapy dog, is also available at the counseling center for comfort during therapy sessions. 

 

Reporter Kierra DeBerry can be reached at 270-745-0655 and [email protected] Follow her on Twitter at @ Kierra_DeB.