Virgin Islands Charity Brings Awareness to Increases in Domestic Violence After Natural Disasters
DVSAC: The VI Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Council has a big job, and it just got bigger
The VI Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Council (DVSAC) was founded by members on the islands of St. Croix, St. Thomas and St. John in 1997 to address oppression and systems advocacy. Furthermore, in 2013, DVSAC became an independent organization and is recognized as the State/Territorial Coalition by the National Office on Violence Against Women and the Department of Health & Human Services. In order to spread their important message, they reached out to Charity Charms to create a domestic violence awareness bracelet to brand their cause.
October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and the Hurricane Irma Disaster makes it paramount
*DVSAC STATEMENT ON HURRICANE IRMA DISASTER RELIEF*:
“The Virgin Islands Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault Council (DVSAC) is saddened by the destruction that Hurricane Irma has caused throughout the U.S. Virgin Islands and on the islands of St. Thomas & St. John particularly. To date, we have already witnessed the lack of cell service and electricity territory-wide and sadly, many individuals are utilizing social media to express their desperation around locating family members…….READ MORE
Natural Disasters and An Increase In Domestic Violence
A point often overlooked is natural disasters often lead to an increase in domestic violence. This is due to a lack of resources for victims and the removal of their usual safety precautions. Moreover, these disasters leave environments in complete disarray. According to the Disaster and Community Crisis Center, natural disasters can increase stress levels due to trauma. Not only do disasters leave a great amount of economic instability, but also reduce the number of resources available. It is important to realize how this can expose victims to their abusers. For this reason, abusers may prey on victims offering them shelter from the disaster to regain control over the situation.
Providing victims with the access to resources they need after a disaster is a big issue, to begin with. For example issues with disconnected hotlines and loss of connection with supportive people. In short, the DVSAC seeks to provide precious resources, awareness, and education to reduce incidences of domestic violence and sexual assault. To learn more click here to read an article shared by the executive director, Khnuma Simmonds-Esannason, on their Facebook page.
Creating Special Domestic Violence Awareness Bracelets with DVSAC
I met Khnuma when she reached out to us to do a custom charm project for DVSAC. We formed a special bond as we worked on our project. To be able to help an organization with the mission to help victims of domestic violence is an honor. Not to mention, they were our first charity in the Virgin Islands! Most of all, our hearts go out to all the people affected by the recent natural disasters. We hope we can help spread awareness to gain and maintain exposure and support for this cause.
Khumna wanted a special bracelet made to brand their cause. In short, special domestic violence awareness bracelets used to spread the word. As a result, we ended up making several styles, and they are presently put to good use. Together we created four styles each showcasing their colorful charms. Consequently, this gives each wearer a unique way to show their style while supporting the cause. First, a chic black band with an enamel coated charm to showcase their bright logo. Second, a purple and teal set with a universal ribbon and custom brand beading. Finally an upscale, artistic style with a variety of colored stones and a beaded bracelet. These were just the beginning!
Due to the success of the three domestic violence awareness bracelets, we made the fourth bracelet. It uniquely features a charm created from a map of the U.S. Virgin Islands. Wearing bracelets that identify a cause you support is a personal way to spread the message about the work they do in the long run. However, fashion is the last thing on the minds of those in the Virgin Islands right now, but these domestic violence awareness bracelets continue to be a beacon of hope for the cause.
DVSAC On Their New Custom GivingBands
“The Virgin Islands Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Council (DVSAC) is happy to share the gift of ‘charms’ with our community as a method of raising awareness on domestic violence and sexual assault in a ‘charming’ way. We ordered the elastic Giving Bands for our partners at professional organizations, school campuses and even national presentations and it is always a hit! We’ve also invested in the gemstone bracelets for our staff and special partners who go the extra mile to be a ‘gem’ of hope in our community – it is an opportunity for them to be appreciated while looking great! We recommend Charity Charms and will continue to do business with them as they are fashionably conscious, U.S. Territory – friendly (not all businesses cater to or ship to the Virgin Islands event though we are U.S. Territory) and most importantly, they help us to spread our message on ‘ending domestic violence and sexual assault’ one charm at a time!” – In Peace & Love, Khnuma Simmonds-Esannason, B.A., M.A.E., Executive Director
Help Us Send a Message of Support
While Hurricane Irma might have been in September, in October, for this reason, they still need support. With this in mind, please help us help Khnuma and her team at the present time by spreading the word for the good work they do (especially during this time of continued challenge). Here are some simple things you can do: LIKE their Facebook page, DONATE to their cause, READ their blog.
Additionally, to support victims of domestic violence or aid in disaster relief after these horrific natural disasters, Khnuma recommends donating to the following reputable relief organizations:
- St. Croix Foundation Disaster Relief Fund: Website | Donate
- Community Foundation of the Virgin Islands Relief Fund: Website | Donate
- J.A.M. Fund for Survivors of Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault (DVSAC): Website | Donate (note JAM fund in donation notes, please)
Ultimately, our clients become our friends and a part of our community. Finally, we thank you in advance for reading and learning about this important non-profit especially during Domestic Violence Awareness Month.
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