County#039;s Domestic Violence Task Force proves to be a successful model for other counties

Published 12:00 am Saturday, April 28, 2007

The Crenshaw County Domestic Violence Task Force has been recognized as a successful model by the Alabama Coalition Against Domestic Violence.

Ann Tate, chairperson for the county's task force, told the Luverne Kiwanis Club at its regular Tuesday meeting, that not only had Autauga County used Crenshaw County's program as a model, but Jefferson County had done so as well.

&#8220I spoke in Jefferson County on behalf of our county after they called and asked me about our program here,” Tate said. &#8220They want to start a domestic violence task force there.”

The Crenshaw County Task Force is in its third year. Tate said that she has seen victims of domestic violence come from every socio-economic level.

&#8220A victim of domestic violence can be your neighbor, a student, a co-worker, a boss, a church member or a teacher,” she said.

Even though 95 percent of the victims are females, Tate said that there are some men who are victims of domestic violence.

&#8220We really don't know what goes on behind closed doors.”

Tate said that even though the task force cannot meet all of the needs of domestic violence victims, there are many things it can do to help.

&#8220One of the main purposes of our county's task force is networking,” Tate said. &#8220We use our resources to help victims get counseling services, get to physical safety, such as victims' shelters, and we help to raise money for the victim if that is what is needed.”

Some of the things Tate cited as making Crenshaw County's task force successful included helpful and reliable people and organizations within the county.

&#8220We have a Superintendent of Education, Kathi Wallace, who allows programs into our schools that help to teach young people about domestic violence and dating violence,” she said. &#8220Plus, we have Crenshaw Community Hospital and our law enforcement to provide so many services to victims.”

Tate added that Pepsi of Luverne provides warehouse space for donated furniture and fence space for the Domestic Violence billboard with its toll-free number for those who need help located directly across from the company.

&#8220And, we have so many individuals in our community who offer their help, in some way or another, to our task force and to domestic violence victims. We can call on each otherŠ.We have not had one need that has not been metŠ.I am so proud of our county,” Tate said.

However, even though the Crenshaw County Domestic Violence Task Force has proven to be a successful program, Tate added that &#8220not all are success stories.”

&#8220Studies show that a woman will leave her abuser at least seven times and go back into the same situation, and many women are killed because they do try to leave an abusive situation.”

The task force has an ongoing cell phone project where people can donate their old cell phones. The cell phones are programmed to call E-911 in case of an emergency and are given to domestic violence victims for use.