Help Deaf Victims of violence!
Mary Elizabeth was held captive by her abuser for months. She couldn't scream for help, she had no means of communication. Her life line (her cell phone) was taken away and she was systematically beaten and abused. Because he had already alienated her friends and family, none of them were in regular touch and no one was looking for her. When she finally broke free in a state of panic and found her way to the police department she couldn't communicate. She waited long hours for law enforcement to locate a signing interpreter. Isolated, alone and petrified she waited.
This is NOT how it should be. Womanspace has begun a Deaf Advocacy Project that will train Deaf volunteers to respond to victims immediately. We are working in partnership with the NJ Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, the NJ Coalition for Battered Women and the NJ Coalition Against Sexual Assault. Everyone is volunteering their time to make this project become a reality. The NJ Division of Deaf and Hard of Hearing has been a wonderful support in providing American Sign Language interpreters but the ability to continue to provide that is limited and the other associated costs for 80 hours of training, ongoing supervision, travel expenses and amenitites like food and clothing are unmet needs.
The newly trained Deaf Advocates will have the ability to accompany the Deaf Victim to the police station, court, the hospital and wherever the Victim needs their support that will help her/him feel safe. We want to ensure that no one should be alone during such a traumatic time.
This project is being piloted in Mercer County NJ but will be available throughout the state within two years. We need your help to make all this a reality.
Please help us in providing this critical support that will be life sustaining, life saving and life supporting for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Victims.
Try to imagine your life without a voice...and then dig deep and help us to provide a voice for the hundreds and hundreds of victims who will benefit from your generosity.