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Working to End Domestic Violence at Hope's Door Inc.

By Elizabeth R. Elstien

Domestic violence continues to be an issue in the United States. But there is hope. "The team at Hope's Door strives to educate and create awareness and dispel common myths and misconceptions about domestic violence", says Marketing and Community Relations Manager Melanie O'Brien on why her organization is important in the struggle against domestic violence.

Located in Plano, Hope's Door offers "safety, shelter, healing and hope" to those who have experienced violence by a loved one or are otherwise affected by it. Originally began as a crisis hotline in 1986, expansion took place in 1989 with their 21-bed emergency shelter. Today, the organization provides many programs, including transitional housing, all ages counseling and legal advocacy. Confidential services at no charge are provided for all they do.

All parties that feel the negative physical, emotional and spiritual effects of household violence benefit from their work. This is a unique organization, as their services don't just help the victim, but the abuser as well. All avenues to domestic violence prevention are addressed, including education of the community to prevent violence before it starts. O'Brien explains, "We offer a program for the batterers, the Batterers Intervention and Prevention Program (BIPP), and we provide educational presentations on domestic violence and teen dating violence to businesses, churches, schools and community organizations."

Domestic violence is a serious problem that can affect anyone of any age, ethnicity, race, religion, location and sex. While most victims are female, there are a significant number of male victims too. That's why any domestic violence survivor can use the services at Hope's Door, easily obtained by calling their still-existing 24-hour crisis hotline or their daytime line open during regular business hours.

Hope's Door has their own retail store selling used clothing and other items to benefit their programs, and events are held throughout the year to raise funds. O'Brien exclaims, "Individuals and families are welcome to participate!" They just held an Evening of Hope Gala (an annual fall event with dinner, live and silent auction, raffle and live music) and this year's theme was exotic Morocco. Better plan for next year, as this year's event sold out.

Volunteers are always welcome to come help out and donations are accepted. The organization posts their financial statements online and states that "over 83% of every dollar donated goes directly to programs and services" so you know your dollars are actually going to help the victims and support the organization's mission. This time of year, donations of food and toys are also needed.

"Our community is so supportive of Hope's Door and our mission," O'Brien tells us. "From a financial standpoint to a volunteer standpoint, we are so blessed by the generosity and kindness of our supporters and friends."

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About The Author

Elizabeth R. Elstien has worked in real estate for over 15 years as a real estate...

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