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CAASA receives $20K grant to combat domestic abuse in area, boost sagging funds for shelters

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

CAASA has been chosen to receive a $20,000 grant from The Mary Kay Foundation as part of the organization's annual $3 million national domestic violence grant program. CAASA is one of 150 domestic violence organizations participating in the program. The grant will be used to increase service awareness in the eight county service area of Northwest Iowa, including Buena Vista County, as well as provide much needed support for adult and youth victims of intimate partner terrorism.

"This grant is such a blessing to CAASA in a variety of ways," said Rhonda Dean, local Executive Director. "Not only does it make up for a deficit in funding this year but gives us hope and strength to continue what we do. Domestic violence is not going away and deserves very serious attention."

The economic climate has not only caused a decrease in donations but can also be attributed to an increase in the need for domestic violence services. In May 2009, Mary Kay's Truth About Abuse survey of domestic violence shelters across the country revealed some alarming results: three out of four domestic violence shelters report an increase in women seeking assistance from abuse since September 2008, a major turning point in the U.S. economy. The survey data directly connects the downturn in the economy to an increase in domestic violence.

"In light of the economic downturn and alarming increases in domestic violence, The Mary Kay Foundation's mission is more critical than ever before. CAASA has helped so many women and their families in Northwest Iowa. We know they will use these funds to benefit even more domestic violence survivors and their children and help end domestic violence," said Jennifer Cook, The Mary Kay Foundation board member.

The Centers Against Abuse and Sexual Assault (CAASA) provides crisis intervention which could include crisis counseling, advocacy, shelter, and information and referral for victims of domestic and sexual violence. Services also include prevention education and community awareness surrounding these issues. CAASA serves eight counties including Buena Vista, Cherokee, Clay, Dickinson, Emmet, Ida, Palo Alto and Sac.

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