WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and many resources are working to break the stigma surrounding the topic.
One in four women will experience domestic violence, according to the Kansas Coalition Against Sexual and Domestic Violence.
“It takes literally a whole entire village in order to help the healing process,” said Dung Kimble StepStone program director.
StepStone Ministries is just one of the resources working to help women and families escape the dangers of domestic violence.
Wichita is filled with services from mental health to medical, but in other parts of the state, that is not the case.
“Resources that are so readily available in Wichita and other urban areas are just not there,” said Angela McClure, Family Life Center assistant director.
Rural areas face unique challenges due to the lack of services and opportunities such as transportation and affordable housing for survivors.
“In Newton, for example, we are able to provide cab cards at times,” said Kim Ratzlaff, SafeHope executive director.
Many spend more time with rural clients, even sometimes directly helping with transportation.
“It’s a little slower process to get them back on their feet,” said McClure.
During October, many resources are advocating for survivors through community projects. Art is one way they are letting survivors express themselves.
“It doesn’t have to be a masterpiece to have some therapeutic quality to it,” said McClure.
SafeHope held an art auction to help raise funds to keep resources free for survivors. Many pieces were created by survivors.
The Family Life Center displayed the Clothesline Project in El Dorado at the Butler Community College Campus and other areas. They are looking to grow the project and ask any survivors to contact them if they are interested in adding to the artwork.
“To help break the silence for survivors to be able to speak up in an anonymous way but also be able to get their voice out about the abuse that they had,” said Sarah Oates, Butler County Community College Campus victim advocate.
The group also added purple ribbons to trees around campus reminding students that everyone knows someone.
Once this month ends, this work still continues, and these groups want the community to remember to listen because you never know what someone may be going through.
“If something happens to somebody, what we need to ask them is not what is wrong with you, but what has happened to you,” said Kimble.
StepStone Ministries is hosting an Art Show displaying work by survivors, from children to adults. The show is on Oct. 28. You can find out more here.
To access domestic violence resources, click here.
If you or someone you know is in immediate need of help, contact the Kansas Crisis Hotline at 1-888-363-2287. This is a toll-free, 24-hour confidential hotline.