The Hands of Hope Program out of Family Services Society, Inc. in Marion aims to prevent or intervene in situations where someone is or possibly could be experiencing domestic and/or sexual abuse. The program’s website points out that, “[d]omestic violence is an issue that not only affects men and women, but their families and our community,” which makes domestic abuse everybody’s problem to work towards preventing and ending.
How do you know whether or not you’re experiencing abuse?
You might be in an abusive situation if someone has:
- Pushed or shoved you,
- Slapped or bit you
- Kept you from leaving
- Kicked, choked, hit or punched you
- Threw objects at you
- Locked you out of the house
- Abandoned you
- Refused you help when you were sick or injured
- Subjected you to reckless driving
- Threatened you with a weapon
- Forced sex
- Ignored your feelings
- Criticized you, called you names, shouted at you
- Drove away your friends or family
- Threatened to hurt you or your family
Realizing that you’re being abused can be devastating, but Family Services and Hands of Hope offers a number of services to help you get to safety and mentally heal from whatever abuse you have gone through.
One of the first steps a domestic or sexual assault victim can take is insuring their safety through protective orders. Hands of Hope offers help in completing paperwork for such orders, and they will also accompany anyone going to court for the requested protective orders.
If a person needs someplace safe to go in order to escape abuse, Hands of Hope also offers temporary shelter at the The Flannery-Keal Home, which takes in men or women, as well as children, free of cost, as long as the person is leaving an abusive situation on their own accord. While staying at the Flannery-Keal Home, adults will meet with a Case Manager, who can help the abused person figure out their next steps, including how they will sufficiently provide for themselves and their family. Children who are brought to the Home will meet with a Children’s Advocate, who will help with homework and be in contact with the child’s school, to make sure the child has every opportunity to continue to grow, both through their education and developmentally.
Everyone staying in the Home also receives help from trained, licensed therapists through Family Services Society, Inc. It is also strongly recommended that Home residents partake in therapy groups offered by Family Services.
Some of the groups that are offered include the following:
Relationship Building for Victims of Domestic Violence
This group is only offered online for now, from 7:00-8:00pm, Mondays, for individuals involved in violent or abusive relationships to receive support and education.
We’re Reviving Our Power Over Domestic Abuse
This group is only offered online for now, from 7:00-8:00pm, Thursdays, for Individuals who have been abused to receive support and education.
In addition to helping victims of abuse, Hands of Hope also provides community education for “employers, social services organizations, faith, community, schools, or legal and law enforcement.” This education program includes information regarding domestic violence, sexual assault, and healthy relationships. An organization can request this education program by contacting the director of Hands of Hope at either the Marion office (765-662-9971 ext. 123) or the Wabash County office (260-563-4407).
A crisis hotline is also available for anyone going through abuse and needing information about getting out of their dangerous situation.
The crisis hotline numbers are:
Marion – (765) 664-0701
Wabash – (260) 563-4407
On the other end of the line will be a trained volunteer or staff member that can get you the information you need.
Family Services Society, Inc. and Hands of Hope want the residents of Grant and Wabash Counties to know that help is available and you don’t have to continue suffering from the abuse you’re currently or have previously endured. These programs are available to everyone, regardless of race, ethnicity, age, religion, gender, sexual orientation, or ability. Most likely, the help you need is only one phone call away.
For more information, you can contact the Hands of Hope Director, Linda Wilk, for more information, at 765-662-9971 ext. 123
Or, you can visit the Family Services Society, Inc. website for more information on their Hands of Hope program at http://www.famservices.com/handsofhope/
To keep these services free for victims of abuse, Family Services Society, Inc. asks the public for monetary donations. If you feel moved to donate to this initiative and have the means to do so, you can make your donation through the website, at http://www.famservices.com/donate/