Big Bear, Ca, October 3, 2011, 3:00pm –
Hundreds of people came together last Sunday to support DOVES, and to speak out against Domestic Violence. The 4th annual Walk a Mile in Her Shoes event took place, where men and boys put on women’s shoes, and walked through the village to stand against Domestic Violence in Big Bear. The march was led by the Big Bear High School football team, and also included Big Bear Valley Firefighters, community and church members. DOVES is an outreach center for victims of Domestic Violence, and provides many programs including legal advocacy for victims of domestic violence, one on one counseling, children’s therapy, a men’s mentoring program, transitional housing, Hispanic outreach, elder abuse support, a teen dating violence program and also has a 17 bed shelter in Big Bear. In a presentation to the Community Church congregation Sandy Benson, DOVES Director of Outreach Services, stated that many people don’t think domestic violence happens in our “Big Bear bubble,” however the statistics from last year prove that idea wrong. In the 2010-2011 fiscal year DOVES answered 614 hotline calls, served 877 adults and children, provided 358 hours of legal advocacy, received 270 shelter requests, and provided shelter locally for 35 families or individuals. According to DOVES, local people who request shelter are sent to other areas to protect the families, and DOVES has always been able to place a family. According to Benson, DOVES is busy, and has become even busier in the last few years due to the economy. “With the downturn in the economy, there is an increase in domestic violence,” Benson told KBHR. This year to get men involved in the stand against domestic violence DOVES has started the MVP program, which stands for Men for Violence Prevention. The program encourages men to stand up and speak out against domestic violence. A champion of the cause, and an MVP for DOVES is Pastor Don Foor of Community Church by the Lake, who invited men to stand with him in this cause during his sermon on Sunday morning before the walk through the village. Benson told KBHR that after Pastor Foor’s invitation 5 men signed up for the mentoring program, and over 100 men declared themselves as MVP’s. For information on how you can become an MVP for DOVES call 866-1546.