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CARDV expands services, sees more demand

The Coalition Against Rape and Domestic Violence has seen some big changes over the past year, including a significant increase in the number of clients served and a new counseling center.

Executive Director Jerrie Bell told volunteers, board members and community leaders gathered for CARDV’s annual meeting Tuesday afternoon that CARDV saw a 40-percent increase in demand for services in 2010, which she attributed to better outreach, including development of a coordinated community response team consisting of members of law enforcement, the criminal justice system, Callaway Community Hospital and CARDV.

The organization went from serving 665 clients in 2009, to 965 in 2010. The number of hours spent on crisis intervention went from 636 to 848, hours on case management went from 1,688 to 2,068, 1,802 crisis line calls were received and volunteer hours went from 2,648 to 3,574.

“Our numbers have skyrocketed,” Bell said. “There hasn’t been an increase in domestic violence in the county, but our outreach into the community is going better ... and a result of that has been an increase in services needed, but people were not accessing before.”

One of the results of that increased demand, Bell said, is that CARDV employees and volunteers have “realized a huge need for counseling.” Thanks to a private grant, the organization has been able to purchase a second house to help meet that need as a counseling and healing center.

“It’s going to be primarily counseling for women and children,” Bell said. “We are currently doing a youth therapy research project with Dr. Kim Anderson with the School of Social Work at the University of Missouri.”

The project, funded by a grant from a private foundation, focuses on the provision of trauma-focus therapy to children ages 10-17 who have, or are currently experiencing, violence in the home.

Bell noted that prevention/education coordinator Bea Wallace was the inspiration behind the youth therapy project.

“(Bea) saw this unmet need to provide services to children, and this project became her child,” Bell said. “As most of us know how a mother can fight for her child, all I can say is child or not, I would also want to have Bea fighting for any cause of mine.”

In addition to new space and a new counseling program, CARDV also saw the addition of a sexual assault coordinator — Mary Ann Harper, who had previously been a crisis intervention specialist — and further development of its sexual assault program. Program director Nancy Foster also was able to go from part- to full-time, and two full-time victim advocates have been hired as well.

“We’ve had a lot of positive growth in this past year,” Bell said.

In other business, Mark Koch — the first executive director of CARDV — was honored with the Kate Coniff Award, named for the founder of the organization.

“We could think of no better person (to receive this award) because it is someone who was there in the early days when there was no staff, there were no facilities, there were simply very dedicated volunteers,” outgoing board president Judy Schaneman said. “We just want to say to you we are so grateful for everything you’ve done.”

Koch, who attended the meeting under the assumption he was presenting the award to longtime board treasurer Joyce Williams, decided to go ahead with the speech he had prepared anyway.

“She truly is one of CARDV’s most valuable assets,” Koch said, referring to Williams as the organization’s steadfast bean counter. “How many budgets has she pored over ... so CARDV can continue to thrive?”

The Volunteer of the Year Award was presented to Nat and Suzette Grosz for there many years of contributions to CARDV.

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