JAMESTOWN, NY (WNY News Now) – The YWCA has received a grant to better aid and service families affected by domestic violence.
Staff at the YWCA are seemingly overjoyed for the opportunity to provide better care to victims, children, and perpetrators of domestic violence.
“We got a $600,000 grant from the office of Violence Against Women, it’s a federal grant, and what that grant is for is to help us with our supervised visitation and safe exchange program to allow us to serve victims of domestic violence and the perpetrators as well,” said the Executive Director of the YWCA, Amanda Gesing.
Staff are very excited about the grant, and are eager to continue aiding the public.
“We’re breaking a ceiling, honestly, we’ve been doing this for seven years now and it’s such a need in the community to have a program that helps domestic violence and especially the victims in it, especially the kids who are involved. With this grant, we’re going to be doing a lot more work with those victims and like she said, the perpetrators. It’s just amazing,” said Program Director for Supervised Visitation Lauren Peters.
Those involved with the supervised visitation program explain the importance of the program.
“There’s no other service like this in the area and we are the closest one to Buffalo who actually charges more money for their service, which they’re able to do that, but especially in the Jamestown area it’s just not feasible to do. It’s to keep the kids safe, really, there’s no other place around that’s going to do that and that has the funds or the means to do that, or the resources, so here at the Y we’re very fortunate to be able to keep these kids safe and rebuild with reunification with their non-custodial parent is very important, especially in building healthy relationships as they grow up,” said Peters.
“It’s really going to enable us to continue our supervised visitation and safe exchange program and help us prevent the escalation in the future of domestic violence incidents. It’s very important that children have a relationship with both parents as much as possible. We have a wait list of individuals who are referred to us for this program and this is going to enable us to serve more families and really provide that much needed service in our community so that those children can have that relationship with both parents,” Gesing said.
Those looking to get involved can make monetary donations, or donations of toys and games of all ages to the YWCA.