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As leaders in the campaign to end violence against women and children, Interval House is always looking for the best ways to address the diverse needs of the women and children we serve. We continue to provide innovative services to empower survivors of family violence to transform their lives and break the cycle of abuse.
Every year on March 8, we pause to celebrate International Women’s Day. We celebrate women’s achievements, their contributions to the world we live in, and we celebrate women’s strength and determination to continue raising the bar towards the goal of gender equity and equal human rights for all.
The Building Economic Self-Sufficiency program (BESS) is designed to help women acquire the skills they need to live and thrive independently. It's also designed to build a sense of community. Over the 2016 holiday season, we hosted a number of events for our BESS clients to enjoy the spirit of the season.
We recently carried out an assessment of our Building Economic Self-Sufficiency program (BESS), to find ways in which we could improve our clients' success in the program. Following the BESS assessment, we will be making the following improvements to our program:
By: Kali Madej
Leaving an abusive relationship can be a complicated process. It has additional layers to it when there are children involved. When a woman flees her home for safety in a shelter or to stay with loved ones, it’s imperative that she files for custody immediately to ensure her abuser does not attempt to report her as a missing person or the child as abducted. When she arrives at a shelter or other new place of residence, she can call the police to let them know her location and that she has left an abusive relationship. Police will verify this information and the abuser will only be told she and any children are safe.
The Interval House Kitchen is truly the heart of our home. It's a place where moms and kids come together to share a meal, as well as laughter and tears. Used at least three times a day to cook meals for up to thirty people over the last 10 years, our "heart" is in desperate need of some tender loving care!
By Neil Sinclair, Trustee, Estate of Virginia Rock
A friend of mine for many years, Virginia Rock spent her life in passionate support of those disadvantaged and displaced members of our society.
Small acts of kindness can make a big difference for the women and children of Interval House. That’s why we’re so grateful to the volunteer groups, like Avnet, that make the time to come in and cook dinner for our clients. The women truly look forward to these special nights, when they get a break from cooking and can enjoy more time with their kids. Maybe it’s an extra story at bedtime or an extra snuggle—these moments stick with them.
By Shadi, Interval House Client
At Interval House, everyone eats together, but we each take turns cooking the evening meal. When it was my turn to prepare dinner for the first time, I was so nervous. What if no one liked the food I prepared?
I chose to prepare Persian rice, because I wanted to share some of my culture. Plus, this dish is often served at special occasions like weddings, because the sweet dried fruit in the dish symbolizes a sweet life. For me, my time at Interval House was a hopeful new beginning, a time to look forward to a better future—a future without the fear of constant abuse.
For 16 days, we have invited you to think about and share what you can do to help end violence against women and girls. We’ve talked about learning how to intervene when someone is experiencing abuse, we’ve discussed teaching children from a young age about the values of respect and equality, we’ve encouraged one another to consider volunteering and donating to women’s rights organizations, and more. The 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence concludes on this, the International Human Rights Day.