FAM­ILY SUP­PORT

Cam­paign hopes to raise $1 mil­lion to sup­port Fam­ily Vi­o­lence Preven­tion Ser­vices

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - THE ISLAND - BY JIM DAY

Cam­paign hopes to raise $1 mil­lion to sup­port Fam­ily Vi­o­lence Preven­tion Ser­vices

Danya O’Mal­ley is bank­ing on mil­lion-dol­lar en­dow­ment fund paving a peace­ful path for many Is­lan­ders.

The ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of the P.E.I. Fam­ily Vi­o­lence Preven­tion Ser­vices (FFPS), says the am­bi­tious fundrais­ing goal aims to sus­tain this com­mu­nity vol­un­teer or­ga­ni­za­tion that is ded­i­cated to erad­i­cat­ing phys­i­cal, sex­ual and emo­tional vi­o­lence in fam­i­lies.

The or­ga­ni­za­tion, which pro­vides a place of safety for women and chil­dren who are vic­tims of abuse, re­ceives roughly $670,000 in an­nual pro­vin­cial fund­ing.

That leaves FVPS need­ing to raise an ad­di­tional $160,000 or so each year to off­set a bud­get short­fall.

An­nual fundrais­ing is de­mand­ing and time con­sum­ing, tak­ing time and re­sources away from pro­vid­ing valu­able pro­grams and ser­vices.

O’Mal­ley hopes an en­dow­ment fund fu­eled by a suc­cess­ful cam­paign called Build­ing Brighter Fu­tures will pro­vide a se­cure source of funds mov­ing for­ward.

“This is a do­na­tion that can keep giv­ing on and on and on,’’ she ex­plains.

“Con­ceiv­ably we will never touch the nest egg (of $1 mil­lion). We will only be us­ing the in­ter­est be­ing gen­er­ated from it.’’ The cam­paign, which was launched in the fall of 2016, has raised about $400,000 to date. O’Mal­ley is hope­ful and op­ti­mistic about se­cur­ing a com­mit­ment of $1 mil­lion in do­na­tions by the end of this year.

“So it’s a way of en­sur­ing that cri­sis ser­vices and sup­port ser­vices and preven­tion ser­vices are in place long-term and in a very se­cure way,’’ she says. “That’s a smart way for some­body to direct their money if they want to sup­port the or­ga­ni­za­tion.’’

Fam­ily Vi­o­lence Preven­tion Ser­vices has well-es­tab­lished ser­vices and pro­grams to help em­power and sup­port those af­fected by fam­ily vi­o­lence.

An­der­son House is per­haps the ser­vice most Is­lan­ders read­ily as­so­ciate with FVPS.

Es­tab­lished in 1981, the fa­cil­ity pro­vides emer­gency shel­ter on av­er­age each year to be­tween 70 and 80 women along with 25 to 30 chil­dren.

In ad­di­tion to shel­ter be­ing pro­vided on a short-term cri­sis ba­sis up to three weeks, An­der­son House ser­vices in­clude 24/7 con­fi­den­tial cri­sis and sup­port phone line, child­care ser­vices, fol­low-up sup­port, re­fer­rals to out­reach ser­vices and other agen­cies, drop-in sup­port, ad­vo­cacy, re­fer­rals to sec­ond stage hous­ing and re­source in­for­ma­tion.

“So I think that we make a big im­pact on the peo­ple that stay here for a short amount of time,’’ says O’Mal­ley.

“The shel­ter is the first step on a heal­ing jour­ney,’’ she adds, “and it’s hard to no­tice any big pic­ture changes af­ter one step

but it’s of­ten the scari­est and most im­por­tant step. We know that a woman is at great­est risk shortly af­ter leav­ing a re­la­tion­ship.’’

FVPS also of­fers safe, se­cure and af­ford­able ac­com­mo­da­tions for women and chil­dren as they tran­si­tion to in­de­pen­dent liv­ing.

Out­reach pro­grams are of­fered prov­ince-wide to reach those af­fected by fam­ily vi­o­lence who may not use the ser­vices of the emer­gency shel­ter, but still need some safety plan­ning, coun­sel­ing, ad­vo­cacy and re­fer­rals to re­sources.

Youth pro­gram­ming is also of­fered in var­i­ous lo­ca­tions

across the prov­ince in ju­nior and se­nior high schools.

SAVE (Stu­dents Against Vi­o­lence Ev­ery­where) is a stu­dent­driven pro­gram sup­ported by FVPS de­signed to raise aware­ness about the is­sues of abuse, fam­ily vi­o­lence and help­ful ser­vices.

JIM DAY/THE GUARDIAN

Danya O’Mal­ley, ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of the P.E.I. Fam­ily Vi­o­lence Preven­tion Ser­vices, says the goal of the Brighter Fu­tures Cam­paign is to raise $1 mil­lion to cre­ate an en­dow­ment fund which will help en­sure that cri­sis ser­vices, sup­port ser­vices and preven­tion ser­vices are in place for the long-term.

JIM DAY/THE GUARDIAN

Kate Dempsey, a pro­gram fa­cil­i­ta­tor with Women’s Net­work P.E.I., dis­cusses con­sent as Birch­wood In­ter­me­di­ate stu­dents, clock­wise from right, Sam Hard­ing, Justin Gal­lant and Tyler Larter lis­tens. It’s All About YOUth Pro­gram was a pi­lot project pre­sented to Grade 7 stu­dents in some P.E.I. schools over the past four years.

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