ISSUES 2017 10/22/17

Steve McIntosh
Friday, October 20th
Karen Schmidt, executive director Wichita Women's Initiative Network, discusses Domestic Violence Awareness Month

Transcript - Not for consumer use. Robot overlords only. Will not be accurate.

This is if you 2017. And Steve Macintosh and our guest is Karen Schmitt executive director Wichita women's initiative network. Welcome to issue 2017. Thank you for us for having me I like to start with the very basics. Is the network to me about it. OK so women's initiative network or win because that's easier to say. Is a nonprofit that helps survivors of domestic abuse. So though women in our program have left their abuser and they're working to get their lives in a different direction. So we just help them become independent both financially and emotionally. So that they can hopefully break that cycle of domestic violence for their family. Now the network's been around as I is understood about two years how to how did it start to let's get little history about the network well. In 1986. There were tuned and who were educators one of them was associated with the doors in the blood of Christ and men have both and Newman University human yet front end okay. Says they did and needs assessment them on services for survivors of domestic abuse. And what they found was that when women were leaving their shelters. After about 46 weeks. They were returning to their abusers often because they couldn't financially make it on the ground and the 46 weeks at the shelters just wasn't enough to get to that place. So it they came up a list the program for win in the model. To help. The women get to that place they can be emotionally. Independent. And since they were both educators they felt like education is a big piece of that. So that's why part of the wind program was helping the women improve their education. And then along with proving there and employ abilities skills so that they'd be better. Sets to support themselves. And do you have a mission statement. We do yes. And make it is that we are nonprofit collaborative endeavor serving women survivors of domestic abuse. Went employment. And educational opportunities plastering healing in self sufficiency. Again it was a test aha he has this camera she looked at PG and it was over funded. Who pays for this well a lot of different avenues we do you received some of our funding from the united way. We have and development actor who writes grants and sillier received money through grants. Of course donations. Yes those yeah colors it's helped it. We also just recently incorporated into our program. Bringing projects for our clients to do in our. And the workplace. And we do charge a little bit for that so. The fees they charge for that help offset the wages a little bit. And then we usually have a annual fundraiser. Every year Q is EU is an organization with a great big staff of about thirty or forty people in the big office building it. Know how I manage. How we operate physically and we have four fulltime and one part time staff. And then that we are actually in a building that the doors of the blood of Christ alone downtown. So we share of that building with another nonprofit and the viewers are just really generous and you know let us. How that office space for a lot of last friends and partly pay somewhere else and that that's a big help to us spent. And we can serve up to twelve women at a time and our programs so. We're not huge that we feel lake we make a huge difference in just a few women's lives and and that's worth it. You recently celebrated twentieth anniversary the yes network to us about that about the celebrating. So actually it was last Friday friends thirteenth which we decided to you know hey it's the thirteenth is going to be a lucky day throwing the snow had. We chose that day. So we began at Bayless an open house in the morning asked our office. We just recently. Painted the walls we had a volunteer artists come in and do a mural on one in the walls it just kind of depicted what the women go through coming out of their relationships. And we had to kind of revamped our program model so we do an open house in the morning. And then an evening we had a party celebration. At the boat house and had abandoned. Food and drinks and auction items and managed to really fun time. Sounds like a lot of fun and flat through October. Is domestic violence awareness month one of the reasons revenue like. Terrence frankly but what's the first thing that our listeners should know about domestic violence what's number one. Well the first thing. Pilot by friends and I know is that. Even though EU may not hear about it very often or you think you may not know someone who has experienced it. As a lot bigger issue. And the United States and Harry much Todd and most people know. And it affects you know every race and region where every socioeconomic. Class. There's there's really no one man doesn't affect so just to know that is really a big issue that earlier really do need to be addressing. He gives some facts and figures on this problem locally or or nationally. Am I can instantly like one in four or one cent one in four airline in very ten depends which Steny look at women. Experience and one in seven men and I know. They don't talk about men being victims very often but it does happen. And say Allen and three women one in seven men. And then I am I did look at some statistics for am pleased you are county Illinois yeah. So. That their most recent statistics they have are Tony's fifteen so in 2015. And there's at client. Crime clock. And so that clocks areas that. One domestic violence incident occurred every 23 minutes. And a law enforcement mainline domestic violence arrest every 45 minutes. And one domestic violence murder occurred Harry twelve days. And wind fifteen wow yes and that was a year and Cedric county. And that's in Kansas City, Kansas and Kansas in cat and then here in which a top. And Tony fifteen. The it's tough place apartment. Reported 6598. Incidences. Of domestic violence. And from those incidences say made 2978. Arrests. In 2015. And am also in Centre county there where 2416. Protection can be sorters filed in 25. It's that tells us is a pretty pretty big problems that and I know that when we go down to the police department for our daily briefings that. The dvds are a lot of lot of reports on there. Casey who you shared that the local numbers and national numbers that you can shares or is there as we ballistic with local. Am EM I I didn't get the nationalist and you know the one in theory. Okay am women against one in three women in one in seven and then. Who are the most often victims of Gigi and you say you probably women but there are me until the stuff that and women right. And you know like I said it it doesn't really. The miss anyone I mean all socioeconomic. Groups. The majority of that victims that seeks services are from like the lower socioeconomic class and I think that's just because they have less resources they have less you know family and support and some on Fryman and have her. Socio economic class and I think to just the state math. You know letting people know they hear picked them. Sometimes that keeps women. From telling anyone and so you know these numbers are just what we know there are other numbers that. Women who don't ever tell anyone. But you know a lot of our clients are. The ones that don't have family that are supportive so. When they do leave they really don't have anywhere to go. And so they really do need to you know. Programs like when and the other programs in which Thomas tell them what how what what kind of services dozen or Verizon. I am well. We get a lot of referrals from their shelters and there's OK okay to shelters in the stock. Where women Congo when they first leave there abuser and they need a safe you know secure place to go. We airliner referrals from those. But here referrals from her image anywhere than knows about us or sometimes women just passed by our door and seen the sign in mask it's what we do. And law enforcement. And yes sometimes from law enforcement and have or. Mainly Lennon clinics and town where people that I seek medical care. Closings I'd like to ask you and I think you know the F ship and when you talk about shelters. A person goes to want your shelters these are places that are. You know there have eggs me on sciences where shelter every you try to keep it. And that's secret could try to protect the year the media person who's. Your client yes and from the abusers have tracked him down right break yes shelters I don't know where they are in brightly. Nobody else does except you put yes I only hope that they the shelters are supposed to be. You know. Secret locations. So that they'll women can really feel safe and be safe there. Our. Program isn't a secret where we're located. Am. Because when a woman comes our program she should be past that point really where she's. Afraid of the abuser finding her and she should also by that time in she needs to have filed a protection from abuse order and have down filed. So our location is in secret and it's not secret that women are and our program however. We do keep our doors locked. So that while the women are in our program. That they do you feel safe and six year and they know that we only letting people land that. That are supposed to be there. You're listening to issues Tony seventeen on the Entercom radio stations that I justice Karen Schmitt executive director Wichita women's initiative net Burke. If so what is it DV victim. Why don't they just pack up suddenly I'm sure are mustard with it and it just pack your bags and sneak out there today. What are they leave. And that is a hard thing for people to tears sweat a lot yes right I do yes supply. And that I used to wonder that to you before I started working analysts this population. So one of the big reasons is that financial peace. And that is a way that abusers keep women under their control and keep them from leaving may. Control of the money you know maybe give them a tiny allowance or don't let the panned any money. So the financial pieces of BP's. Also a lot of our clients have children. Suggest feeling like they can even handle being single parent and all the stresses that come with that. There's a lot of fear. Involved in making that big step. And also just you know research shows that when a woman does decide to leave and tries to leave. That's on the violence escalates and that's the most dangerous time for them so. Sometimes sets I didn't think of it again and the ambassador Ryan reached or Sosa also shows that women. Believe you know 78 times and go back before they make that final break can actually leave for dead because. Once they leave then he really the abuser really ramps up that trying to get her back. And it's really you know difficult for the woman to stay strong and and stale way. Did an interview and is this show a couple of years ago. And we had a person who was a victim. And she went on a run all the things that this this guy had under all this and then finally I assessor. So you've left and Ohno I'm I'm still with him as many it's amazing because. Some women just can't dig cant get out of there and battered they rely on this person right and. Yes and no longer that I am a woman needs is an abusive relationship. The more her self confidence in herself steam are worn down and you know abusers and their tactics is to Chang can then stole amend that. They can't. You know do without him right now as far as NASA there are not you know. They don't have the talent to go and get a job they really trying commence. There make them that they cannot do it without him and so they fall for that and and they really start believing. Will domestic violence offender every change. Thank you nor talk about them as the victims but they they are in a way of victim as well. Right time and they can. Man there are batter intervention programs. That here election time that I am. Abusers can attend. And if they attend that program and really work it and it's a long term program it's not just a couple weeks. If they really put in the effort to work the program. And you know really. B and perspective then look at themselves and take accountability. They can change unfortunately not very many abusers do that. How can have as a person become a DV offender. I mean I can't picture myself. Ever doing this with to somebody that I'm close to brain and how is are they. Brought up in an atmosphere where that's okay our do you do you know ten under contract and do you do us explain that too yes that. Sometimes it is that sometimes they have grown up in our homeland that was the model them other relationship for them. Or you know they may have been and a home where Baylor abused as children. And and just kind of learned that model of this Italian actor list. With people are inner relationship plant. Is there a number of reasons why. Am I do believe I don't know as much about the abusers idea about the victims and survivors but. I do also believe that. You know even though the abuser is acting like. There you know self confident and superior. Really deep down inside there there justices and six year as you know. The survivor gets to be and it. At some point. And another tragic part of this is that their children off yes then and that's probably just be the worst part of it. Yes kids are involved in their being torn up by Elvis and very seeing some ugly things. Pray they witness you know even if they don't witness. What their eyes the physical car. They hear. And you know that's just as damaging for them to hair you know they yelling in the insults and even if they don't see an actual incidents so. It is very. You know concerning. What the children are seeing and that then you know. They can go out to be and these are they can not to be evicted them. And that's part of why are we really do what we do so that hopefully if this these parents these mothers can break that cycle. And learn how to be in held there really patient ships that maybe they can keep their children from growing up to be in an abusive relation. So so wind is still a woman or victim comes you and you give them the tools they need which could be anything from what. Do you education places stay the whole thing now. Tells about that. Yes ma'am it is so it's kind of like a part time job for our women they come to land twenty hours a week Monday through Friday. And we do you actually pay them a wage. To help with that financial peace. Am now granted it's not a huge wage and it still you know are really tight budget but. We help them with budgeting. Parenting you know life skills. Helping them improve their employer abilities through the project subtly bring in. If education is something that they want to you know continue live Finley helped them find resources for that provide tutors. And any services that we can't provide and then our case manager makes referrals to other agencies in Wichita to help them with that. We don't do the housing peace belly or request a number of programs have housing programs. Specifically for domestic violence survivors. So we just to. We we may get really individualized for each woman and help address the bears that she has to becoming independent. And this is not just. I just wanna say I want to stuff something where. If someone is myrtle verbally abuse and not just that manages to do it this goes on on the people have actually. Lost their lives in these situations that makes it very seriously yes yes what it educational and funding activities do you promote. Him saying fund raising to leave a fundraising yes. Well and then you talk a little bit about that this celebrity there in the celebration of what other things you do year to raise funds and and well usually somebody as a golf term or something. Yeah I have never done and that. And our usual am annual fundraiser is an event called divas on a dime. Okay and we have our women in our program are actually in the Davis says they model. And the clothes come from goodwill so that's why there on a dime so. And met today actually. Goodwill donates to complete outfits to our women. And man volunteers that are kind of like personal shoppers and help them go pick out different outfits and so. Necessarily fence celebration. Are women really and they modeled. And you know we have. Orders in drinks in the auction items and it's it's pretty much a celebration of the women in our program and how. They have really become more confident and independent women. And that's our our usual and you know we did something different this year since it was our whiny and they'll go back to our deal is on time next year. Do you you feel like he carried you make a difference that there are people are coming through. And you're seeing good success stories a lot some are you making today and you think. I think clear are you. You know it's hard to say when you didn't have a work that we do like a percentage of how many. Women are successful because success is measured and a number of different ways. I mean success for some woman mind you know be. Am I. Aaron to my CNA certificate and I am working full time. You know success for another woman might be iron my bachelor's degree and you know I am going on with a career in business or something so. It's hard to measure but. As long as we can help old woman become independent. Time and meet her goal and what that means for her. Then we feel like we've been successful do some of these people and I would imagine that they go publicist for at times some. Russia and do yes I am and sometimes they come into our program. With housing and then something happens and they lose that housing Anson and are helping them. You know get into a shelter again are kind of figure out what they can do but. That housing peace and can be really unstable sometimes. He. We do need sun not man is well not he's a volunteer intensive thing and re doing a huge on terror organization that we do utilized volunteers to come in and speak to our women. On different topics that they might be an expert and whether it's parenting our budgeting our nutrition and that'd be good and we also have volunteers who common tutor are women. Am. But yeah we don't know a lot of volunteer opportunities like some organization only about donations. You like donations we do what the big. LA of course they like monetary donations however. And mentally also except you know clothing for the women or for children. We also have really called a basic needs pantry and an incentive Graham and so. We also like donations. You know like hygiene prior acts. Household items that women might need just to set up a new house you know apartment because I'm. Lot of them leave with nothing except you know a few close out. So we like to keep our. Basic needs pantry and iron center or am as well as we can and so. Sometimes we just you know asked people hey if you can do little link and a gift card drive or you know I hygiene Jaya and donate to our. And sinner I am our basic needs pantry and that's great to you how do you get involved this. Is that too personal. Now and well I mean you are here you'll kid you probably did think you really do this you know he's. And then he analyzes social work is like my my second carrier in the eyes and in so short since 98. And it worked in the child welfare system for a long time. And then when Iowa as I am getting my masters degree I did my intern ship out wanna be domestic violence shelters. And I did that because I wanted to do something different than child welfare and farm my internship so. Bass and I first started working when survivors and got really interested in hearing more of their stories in learning more about it. And so six years ago the opportunity friends and director at Lang came up and I was lucky to have to be chosen. Gotta be some sort of pay off other than they give you fuel whole Lotta money to do this work. He you find some satisfaction Dutch. And into every now and then you get that really good story. Yes yet and you have to remember though some hard days my knee feels like nothing is going right and they yes it is jury awarding and like I said Enola success looks different for and number of you know women and so. To us to. That work in the field you know successes are little things they're not that huge goal always it's the little things and say just settle at every day for the little things and know that people are making progress. Melissa thank you for spending some time wins here in the issue show we appreciate the information and a on. The this is. Domestic violence awareness month and I guess of course is it. I carriage rich executive director of all Wichita women's initiative network thank you again for being with suspending some time and openness to understand the situation. That's all for this edition of issues Tony seventeen will be back next week thank you for listening I Steve Macintosh.