Turning Pointe Domestic Violence Services in Mason County is honored to be selected by the state’s Office of Crime Victims Advocacy, a division of The Department of Commerce, to provide core sexual assault and abuse services to survivors and their children in Mason County. The change will be effective October 1, 2016, an appropriate time given that October is National Domestic Violence Action Month.
PASS (Prevention, Advocacy and Specialized Service), the sexual assault and abuse program in Mason County, will complete the consolidation on Friday, September 30, 2016. As Juliana Miljour, current Executive Director of PASS and a long-time Mason County resident, finishes packing for her out-of-state move, she notes that PASS volunteers, staff and the Board of Directors have dedicated a combined total of more than 20 years of services in the County and she believes they will continue to do so. Miljour and the PASS Board have worked for the past year to develop a succession plan that would eliminate the duplication of sexual assault services in Mason County while maintaining funding, as well as provide services to survivors and their children with little or no interruption.
Miljour went on to say that, “While we are saddened that the agency is closing, we are optimistic that the community will continue to receive effective services by the dedicated staff and volunteers at Turning Pointe.”
Turning Pointe’s Executive Director, Cheryl Cathcart stated that, “We have partnered with PASS on many occasions in the past to increase and broaden survivor support and community awareness. In 2010, through a Federal OVW Grant, both agencies opened a joint office in Belfair offering support services for survivors of domestic and sexual violence. In the short two years the office was open, advocates witnessed an unexpected 14% increase in clients seeking services in the North Mason area. Given the history of our working together to improve services for survivors, it is a great honor to be selected by PASS and the Office of Crime Victims Advocacy to continue to expand and grow the program.”
The expansion of sexual assault and abuse services in Mason County has also been a thoughtful part of Turning Pointe’s Strategic Plan for many years, said Cathcart. “Of the 511 survivors we provided services for this past year, we estimate a minimum of 1/3 or more have disclosed some type of sexual assault or abuse in their background. The numbers are large and that suggests we need to focus on Prevention Education in Mason County Schools for our kids and Community Development to all of Mason County so everyone can respond more effectively to survivors and their children. Also on the top of our list is expansion into North Mason County where services have been needed and so well received in the past.”
Currently, Turning Pointe is the third largest domestic violence shelter in the state of Washington and has the ability to house 54 people, as compared to the largest at 57.
Cathcart continues. “All of this good news is cause for celebration and we hope you will join us as we celebrate the lives of survivors and their children at the ‘Power of the Purse – Change Your Purse Change a Life’ fundraiser on Friday, November 4, from 5 to 7:30 pm in the Event Center at Little Creek Casino. You can purchase paper tickets in person at Turning Pointe, 210 Pacific Court, Shelton; or on line at www.turningpointe.org.
Adds Cathcart, “Tell your friends and co-workers we are taking donations of new and gently used purses, wallets and scarves. Bring your friends and come celebrate the women in your life!