Color Dash 5K For CADV

MORGAN COUNTY, Mo. — Citizen Against Domestic Violence has opened a new satellite office in Morgan County. The office opened on Friday, March 1 in Versailles.

“Opening our office in Versailles is part of the strategic plan identified by our CADV Board,” CADV Executive Director Sheree Keely said. Their main shelter location and offices are in Camden County, although they have been serving Morgan, Miller and Camden Counties. “We wanted boots on the ground to help victims in Morgan County,” Keely said.

The Journey Out of Violence 

CADV is celebrating 35 years of empowering individuals experiencing abuse through the journey out of the cycle of violence. They do this through professional connections, counseling, advocacy services and community engagement. 

According to Keely, domestic or sexual violence can happen to anyone of any race, age, sexual orientation, religion or gender. It can happen to couples who are married, living together or who are dating. Domestic violence affects people of all socioeconomic backgrounds and education levels. 

CADV can provide a variety of free and confidential services to local victims of domestic and sexual violence. They have assisted thousands of victims and their children through their shelter and outreach services by connecting them to multiple resource partners.

“Getting out of an abusive relationship isn’t easy,” Keely said. Often times women are afraid of what their partner will do if he discovers she is trying to leave, causing them to feel trapped and helpless. The first step is to reach out for help. “We don’t tell our clients what they need to do. We listen to them and find out what we can do to help them to form a safety plan,” Keely said. There is an option for women to go to a safe house, but in some situations, it is not what the client wants. “Each decision is personal,” Keely added. “Everyone has a right to live a violence free life and we are here to talk to them about their options. Hopefully, we will plant a seed that breaks the cycle of violence in their family. We want to protect the most vulnerable, which in some cases, are the children.” 

Support Group 

The Versailles office has a support group that has begun meeting at 7 p.m. on the first and third Tuesday of every month, beginning Tuesday, June 4. This is a time to talk about the dynamics of domestic violence, to build friendships with other survivors and to work on self-care and self-esteem.

National abuse statistics are staggering:

  • One in four women have suffered severe violence from an intimate partner. 
  • One in seven men have suffered severe violence from an intimate partner. 
  • Every day, three women are killed by an intimate partner. 
  • 55 percent of female homicides were related to domestic violence. 
  • Every 98 seconds, an American is sexually assaulted. 
  • One in three women are survivors of sexual violence. 
  • Two out of three sexual assaults go unreported to the police. 
  • 60 percent of survivors know the person who assaulted them.

Persons interested in getting involved with CADV are invited to donate or volunteer. Volunteers needed include: a language interpreter, life skills instructors, transporting clients, going to court with clients as a legal advocate, or accompanying clients to the hospital as a hospital advocate with the Sexual Assault Response Team (SART).

All of CADV's services are free and confidential. The Morgan County CADV is open 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. For additional information visit cadv-voc.org or their Facebook page. CADV Legal Program Coordinator Patty Martin is available at the Morgan County outreach office at 573-569-4860.  Their hotline is available 24/7 at the same number.

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