Monday, June 13, 2011

A Community Response to Domestic Violence

About Domestic Violence

Domestic violence is criminal behavior.  Battering occurs across all cultural, educational, racial, and socioeconomic groups, and in heterosexual, gay, and lesbian relationships. Domestic violence involves one person controlling another through the use of violence, sexual assault, threats, emotional abuse, stalking, using children, legal harassment, and isolation. While domestic violence is a “hidden crime” it affects 25-35% of the population.

What C.A.R.E. is:

The mission of the C.A.R.E. (Capital Area Response Effort) is to reduce family violence in Ingham County by drawing on the resources of various community groups to intervene in both the short-term and the long-term with families affected by domestic violence. Through the program, volunteers are on-call to assist persons who have been victims of domestic violence. Currently, staff and volunteers are able to provide assistance 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Response Team members volunteer their time to provide immediate assistance to survivors. The volunteers are trained specifically in domestic violence laws, victim’s rights, community resources, and medical referrals. Their response is immediate and intense; volunteers respond to the home within 30 minutes of the assailants arrest, (and only when an arrest has occurred) and remain with the survivor until it is deemed appropriate for them to leave. They help survivors assess their risk of further injury or homicide, develop a safety plan, obtain safe shelter, and access available community resources. CARE responds when an arrest has been made in the City of Lansing, East Lansing, Lansing Township, Meridian Township, and Michigan State University.

The information CARE members provide may help to reduce the physical and psychological consequences of the assault. The Response Team helps survivors work through the immediate crisis and plan for a safe future.
In addition to the immediate contact, CARE staff and volunteers provide additional follow-up contact with survivors. Continual assessment may increase the likelihood that survivors will get the assistance they need.

The Role of Volunteers

Volunteers play a key role in the efforts of the C.A.R.E. program to reduce family violence. While there are many hard-working and dedicated volunteers already working in teams, more volunteers are needed to expand the program.
Prospective volunteers must apply to the address listed below. In addition to the application, volunteers will be expected to:
  • provide two references
  • participate in a short interview
  • complete a police ride-a-long
  • agree to a review of criminal history and driving records
  • complete approximately 40 hours of training (held over 2 weekends)
  • monthly in-service training/supervision meetings once volunteering
If accepted as a volunteer at the completion of the training, volunteers will then be asked to be on call (via pager) approximately once every six weeks. Volunteer shifts consists of being on call Thursday and Saturday, or Friday and Sunday so assistance can be provided to victims throughout the weekend. CARE staff responds to domestic violence victims during weekday hours.
Volunteers are asked to commit for at least six months, although one year is preferred.

For further information or to get an application to volunteer, please contact:

CARE
3400 S. Cedar
Lansing, Michigan 48910
517-272-7436