This year, I have selected the Domestic Abuse and Intervention Services (DAIS) of Dane County, WI. DAIS was founded out of necessity in 1977 to passionately and effectively aid family, friends, and victims of abuse. Resources include a 24/7 helpline, legal advocates, housing, immediate crisis response, support groups, and temporary shelter for animals of abuse victims. In addition to direct aid, they offer community speakers and education to help people recognize signs of abuse and promote healthy relationships.
I've had the unique opportunity to walk in the DAIS fundraising fashion show at the Overture Center in Madison, WI 3 years in a row with the Studio Z Salon staff. One of my former coworkers shared with the staff that she fled her abusive ex-husband with the help of DAIS. She was picked up in the cover of night with her young daughter and was taken to a safe and undisclosed shelter. They were protected and provided for, and my coworker is forever grateful that she was able to enjoy a bright future with her daughter. I will never forget how much her story impacted me.
As put by the National Domestic Violence Hotline, "Domestic violence doesn’t discriminate. People of any race, age, gender, sexuality, religion, education level, or economic status can be a victim — or perpetrator — of domestic violence." Domestic abuse is about obtaining and maintaining power by one partner over another in an intimate relationship. Physical violence is the first thing that many people think of when they think of an abusive relationship. However, it can also include threats, manipulation, and emotional abuse. Typically more than one type of abuse is present in the relationship and it's important to be able to identify abuse.
Sadly, domestic violence has increased globally since COVID-19 quarantines and shutdowns have been put into place. Illness, financial strain, isolation, work/school format changes, and political unrest are all at play in creating an environment for domestic violence. DAIS has noticed an increase in both assistance need and severity of abuse. Now more than ever, your charity is needed to help community action based programs like DAIS continue to provide their services. Thank you so much for your thoughtful and kind donations.
Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas to All,
- Samantha Temby
- Meg & Dave Bohler
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