Voices Against Violence in Twin Falls serves the entire Magic Valley, which encompasses 6 counties of South Central Idaho. We support and empower survivors of domestic abuse, sexual assault, human trafficking, and other types of violent crimes.
We do this by sharing information like:
- What healthy relationships look like compared to abusive ones;
- The added danger of guns in abusive situations; and
- The services we provide to help people escape these situations into safety.
We help people whether they are able to flee their abusive situation or not. And it is crucial for survivors’ safety to make sure that there is a safety plan for those still living with abusers—especially when abusers have access to guns.
Two-thirds of murders linked to intimate partner violence are committed with guns, and many of our clients can and do fall victim to gun violence. This crisis makes it vital that we prevent gun violence for the people we serve. They need to be aware of how to prevent gun violence in their homes, schools, and communities.
The Everytown Support Fund Domestic Violence Grant we received has enabled us to reach a greater number of clients in a more inclusive way. The grant has provided for translation services, education around gun violence, and more. We’ve been able to focus more on the specific dangers of domestic violence when guns are involved, and that has translated into our interactions with domestic violence survivors and into the outreach work that we do.
Through the grant, one of our staff members, Noemi Juarez, was able educate community members by:
- Providing 47 outreach presentations;
- Giving referral and program information to 70 community partners; and
- Participating in 22 community events and 43 support group sessions.
Interpretation services are another important part of our work with survivors. Many of our clients are not fluent in English, and because of this, they face greater barriers when trying to leave an abusive situation. In one case, before we were able to get involved, a survivor had to use her abuser as her interpreter when she was reporting his abuse to law enforcement.
Obviously, this is unacceptable. It gives abusers the opportunity to alter the story. They can hide how bad the situation is, whether guns or other weapons are involved, and obscure who is at fault.
By offering interpretation services, we mitigate these effects. About half of our staff are bilingual; we have people who speak Spanish, French, and Haitian-Creole on staff. When a client speaks a language our staff doesn’t share, we use the Boostlingo interpretation call line so that language is not a barrier for any client.
Many of the survivors of violence we work with have said that our support is life-saving. That is worth everything to us. We will continue to strive to provide hope and healing to our survivors while having a positive impact on the community.
Learn more about Voices Against Violence.
NATIONAL DOMESTIC VIOLENCE HOTLINE
If you or someone you know is in crisis, please call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 800-799-SAFE (7233), available 24/7, for confidential assistance from a trained advocate, or text START to 88788 from anywhere in the U.S.
You can also find more resources on legal assistance in English and Spanish at WomensLaw.org.