From June 25-26th, staff members, Mariya, Community Liaison Manager, and Jill, Executive Director, visited the Coalition for Family Harmony in Oxnard to train domestic violence advocates at that agency on how to utilize the Domestic Violence Information and Referral Center (DVIRC).
The Coalition for Family Harmony in Oxnard is serving as a beta-testing agency for a suburban area. The agency’s core services are in providing crisis intervention for domestic violence and sexual assault victims, and these services are housed in their 24-hour response emergency domestic violence shelter and Rape Crisis Program (RCP). The emergency domestic violence shelter program prides itself in being completely staffed by bilingual English/Spanish staff who are well-versed in the psycho-social, legal and economic effects of domestic violence on a variety of populations. Furthermore, shelter staff serve as crisis counselors on our 24-hour bilingual domestic violence hotline, where they assist with safety planning and community information and referrals.
W.O.M.A.N., Inc. has partnered with this suburban based domestic violence agency to learn more about how the DVIRC can be useful for a Domestic Violence agency in an area not saturated with other social service agencies such as the Bay Area in general is. Based on initial feedback from the advocates at the agency, the Coalition for Family Harmony believes the Community aspects of the system will be the most beneficial for their agency. In particular, this agency will be utilizing the online discussion forums to communicate with domestic violence agencies in others parts of the state to learn best practices and gain insights on how these other agencies operate. In addition, as a result of the June meeting with W.O.M.A.N., Inc., the Coalition for Family Harmony will also begin to input their own shelter bed availability information on the DVIRC. Meaning for those survivors who must travel great distances to get away from their abuser, this information will be available for advocates working to assist these survivors to become safer.
W.O.M.A.N., Inc. will be collecting data to ascertain the progress made in utilization of the system by the Coalition for Family Harmony over the next few months.