Region 8 women's crisis center seeking help

By Rebecca Lane - bio | email

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - A Region 8 shelter that helps women of domestic violence, is reaching out for help.

The Women's Crisis Center of Northeast Arkansas serves Craighead, Greene, Lawrence, Poinsett, Randolph and Mississippi counties. Every month, they receive an excess of 300 calls from women needing counseling, advice, or shelter.  Lately, however, their facility has been maxed to the limit.

"It becomes very difficult for them to function in an environment where there is very little privacy," Executive Director, Vicki Crego explains, "There is not very much space."

Crego says that while going through such a rough time, the one thing the families need is time to talk and process.  With the facility being so full, women rarely have a moment alone.  Crego adds that this is a common theme across the nation.

"There is just an extreme shortage of resources for victims of domestic violence in general," she says, "In Arkansas alone, there are only 600 beds available for these families."

The facility currently used has been the shelter since 1993.  The older building is beginning to show its wear and tear with so many women and children cycling in and out.  The four bedroom, two bath home has been housing twenty-one people from the surrounding areas.  Women and children are sharing rooms and beds.  The dining room table seats a modest six.

Crego is raising awareness of this issue, in hopes the community will be able to step up and help these women out.  Currently, the center is relying on government aid, but funds raised by the community could greatly aid their progress.  They have received a grant, but it is more for cosmetic work around the home.  What is desperately needed is either an expansion or a newer, bigger facility all together.

Crego says that no matter what, women will not be turned away from the center.  If no rooms are available, her staff will contact all resources to find these women a safe place to stay.

"We just want them to know that there is help available."

For more information on the Women's Crisis Center go to www.keepneawomensafe.com or call their 24-hour crisis line (870) 933-9449.

Statistics:

28% of married couples experience one or more incidents of domestic violence.

3-4 million women are severely assaulted by male partners each year

More than 50% of women murdered in the United States are killed by their partner or ex-partner.

Battering is the single largest cause of injury to women, and 40% of all patients treated for serious injury in hospital emergency rooms are battered women.

A woman is abused every 9 seconds in the United States.

In Arkansas there were around 27 deaths attributed to domestic violence.  Six of those were in the Northeast Arkansas region.

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