Florida community supports fight against domestic violence
By: Brad Rowland
For 35 years, The Salvation Army has provided services to people affected by domestic violence in Brevard County, Florida. To commemorate that work, approximately 55 individuals gathered on Oct. 2, for a celebration and awareness breakfast at the Center for Collaboration, a multi-purpose space dedicated to unifying non-profit organizations in Rockledge, Florida.
The giving event, with free admission, celebrated the history of Brevard County’s first domestic violence shelter while also looking to the future and the work of quelling domestic violence in the community. The breakfast featured a presentation on the history of The Salvation Army’s domestic violence programming, as well as a public request for support centering on Domestic Violence Awareness Month in October.
The Salvation Army provides comprehensive domestic violence services in Brevard County, from helping with court processes to support groups and overall advocacy.
“We really start where the survivor is, and that survivor lets us know what it is they want and need to do,” said Cindy Mitchell, domestic violence program director for the North Central Brevard County Corps. “From there, we assist them with whatever
those goals are. We aren’t limited. We can provide advocacy. Whatever their concerns or goals are, that’s what we want to help them accomplish.”
Brevard County’s program is one of three certified domestic violence centers in the Florida Division. The Army’s work operates in concert with other nonprofit entities, some of whom were recognized at the breakfast.
The message of domestic violence awareness is critical, both in Brevard County and across the country and the world.
“The most important thing in terms of awareness is knowing how people can get help,” Mitchell said. “I think everyone should be providing the domestic violence hotline number (1-800-799-SAFE) and that is an easy, great starting place to help to direct people to the right place.”
“The whole point of why we do what we do is to help survivors, keeping them safe and avoiding further abuse. It doesn’t matter if it is us helping people or another center, our primary purpose is helping others and educating them that help is out there.”