LOGAN – October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month at the Logan City Offices. The national awareness campaign began in 1981 by the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence as a Day of Unity to connect battered women’s advocates across the country.
Jill Anderson, the executive director of Citizens Against Physical and Sexual Abuse (CAPSA), held a media event to highlight the month dedicated to those who suffer from domestic violence. She also wanted to show her appreciation to city and state officials who supported the organizations for both their cause and financial stability.
Logan Mayor Holly Daines and State Representative Dan Johnson, R-District 4, spoke for a few minutes and highlighted their admiration for the work the organization is doing in the valley.
CAPSA is there to help people in crisis situations and they don’t turn anyone away. The coronavirus has made things worse for those dealing with domestic violence, Daines said.
“I’m impressed that the shelter has a policy that they do not turn anyone away,” she said. “They have risen to the challenge to help people that are in abusive situations.”
The mayor said the organization has risen to the challenge to help people during the increase due to COVID. And recognized the Logan City Police that works with CAPSA on a regular basis to try and protect people in abusive situations.
“We have been able to help CAPSA with supplemental grants as a way to help them and other organizations,” she said. “Thank you to CAPSA for all that they do. They are here to help the community and we are glad to help them.”
Rep. Johnson found some money in the state coffers to help non-profits that wasn’t being used and was able to get CAPSA and The Family Place money to help them with the work they do.
“I started asking the question ‘(are) there any discretionary funds to help nonprofits?’” he said. “I came to find out no one knew at the state and local level that there was money available for nonprofits,” he said. “Jill did an appropriation request and we were able to get her some discretionary funds.”
Sixteen nonprofits were able to split $1 million.
“We really need to take care of nonprofits for the work that they do,” Johnson said. “I am thankful for this kind of work CAPSA does and what they do for families.”
Anderson said it does take a community effort to support survivors of domestic violence and she is so grateful to all of the community partners for helping to raise awareness of the issue.
“We knew we would see an increase with COVID just because we watched our sister organizations dealing with natural disasters when we were preparing for an increase,” she said. “We had no idea the level of the increase we were going to see.”
The crisis line received over 112 percent more calls than what they did the year before.
She told of an experience of one of their clients in an abusive relationship they hadn’t heard from for a several weeks. She was always in earshot of her husband until she was at the grocery store. The client snuck the call and was rescued.
“Our shelters have received 66 more requests for help. The cost of hotel space went up because of the number of requests for help,” Anderson said. ”We are spending an average of $12,000-$14,000 a month on hotel bills.”
She said there is no way they could keep up with the demand without help from Logan City, Cache County and the Utah Legislature.
“We want to thank Mayor Daines and Representative Johnson for finding funds to help us and other organizations looking for help,” she said. “We also want to thank Craig Butters from the county for their funding.”
Anderson was most appreciative of law enforcement for the role they play in helping people suffering domestic violence.
“Their work they do can be dangerous and domestic disputes are usually the most dangerous,” she said. “What they do is critical for survivors of domestic abuse.”