Domestic Abuse Services Oxford has provided services to Oxford County for going on 44 years. That is a long time. And we have learned a few things – in fact way more than a few things – along the way. We know that bandages alone won’t help abused and/or homeless women, children and adolescents. They need:
- Protection in our 24/7, 21-bed high security shelter, a safe haven and Oxford’s ONLY year-round shelter for women, children and teens. Help is only a phone call or text message away through our 24-hour crisis/information/support line – 519-539-4811 or 1-800-265-1938 or text 519-788-9993.
- Prevention through our wide range of effective residential and community-based programs including counselling, sexual assault counselling, transitional housing and court support, in addition to comprehensive risk assessments and safety planning for all who use our services. Believe in Me is a counselling program designed to help children and teens, and their moms, heal from the devastating effects of domestic violence.
- Possibilities are explored and offered through our individual and group counselling programs, workshops and referrals to community services and support.
All of our services and programs, including shelter, are free of charge thanks to the generous funding of the Provincial Government, Oxford County, grants, foundations and many local donors and supporters. We couldn’t do it without your help and we are so grateful for this ongoing support which enables us to offer help and hope to thousands of women, children and teens.
Domestic abuse is the #1 health issue facing many Canadian women and the costs associated with this abuse are enormous. A decade-old Federal Government research study revealed the hidden costs of domestic abuse – health, court, police, subsidized housing, loss of productivity, time off work and trauma-induced illnesses (to name just a few) – amount to $3.8 Billion every year in Canada. These shocking numbers demonstrate the extent of the problem and attendant damage to innocent victims. This must change and every day at DASO we work to do our part.
Every day we become better, more informed and educated, more effective and more efficient at providing appropriate services. We listen, we comfort and we empower women to make choices for themselves and for their children. We continue to see women dealing with the added challenges of substance use, mental health issues, poverty, illiteracy, lack of affordable housing, the inability to access affordable child care, difficulties navigating court and legal systems, and inadequate public transportation in the County. The list is long and discouraging. And the cycles of domestic abuse and homelessness continue. We are busier and busier every year.
But in the midst of this we see hope, we resiliency, we see courage and determination. Every day we witness the miracle of women, children and teens healing and moving forward into healthy, violence-free lives.
It does take more than a bandage to help. It takes compassionate care and patience, education, trained staff and clinical interventions to truly stop the intergenerational cycles of abuse and homelessness. To truly make a difference it takes time, energy, money and resources. It takes the commitment of the communities of Oxford. It will take all of us, working together, to end domestic abuse and to build communities that are safe, healthy and empowering for all of us.
Please help us help by going to the front page of our website and click on “Donate Now”. You can also mail a cheque, payable to DASO, to 975 James Street, Woodstock, ON N4S 0A5 or call Heather at 519-539-7488, ext. 236 to donate using a credit card. Any amount, small or large, will help us offer more than bandage solutions. Thank you!
Rhonda Hendel, Executive Director