February 5, 2014
Recently the YWCA partnered with the Birmingham Police Department on a new project, The Lethality Assessment Program. Through this intervention program, officers from the police department identify victims of domestic violence who are at risk of being seriously injured or killed by their intimate partners. The officer on the scene then immediately connects the victim to the YWCA Domestic Violence hotline.
Project S.A.F.E. (Stopping Abuse in the Family Environment), the domestic violence unit of the police department, and the YWCA have worked cooperatively for many years to develop and implement an effective, productive and comprehensive victim service coordination project for victims of domestic violence in Birmingham.
During Domestic Violence Awareness Month in October, the YWCA was honored with an award at the Birmingham Police Department’s annual Domestic Violence Prayer Breakfast in appreciation for the years of dedication and loyalty to the Birmingham Police Department. The YWCA, the Birmingham Police Department and Project S.A.F.E, continue to partner after many years to address the issue of domestic violence in our community. The annual Domestic Violence Prayer Breakfast is intended to raise awareness and provide education on the problem of domestic violence that has plagued the Birmingham area for many years. This year’s theme for the breakfast was “Breaking the Chain of Silence,” which focused on encouraging victims of domestic violence to seek appropriate and safe refuge from their abusers.
At the breakfast, Birmingham Police Chief A.C. Roper said, "The thing about domestic violence is it often dwells in the shadows, in the darkness. The victim quite often doesn't want to report it. We've got to do more to get people to pick up the phone, call the police department, call the YWCA, call someone so they can get help."
The YW operates two confidentially located shelters for women and children fleeing abusive homes. Counselors help these women make safety plans, obtain jobs or job training and work toward independence and self-sufficiency. The shelters serve Blount, Jefferson and St. Clair counties. The YW also operates a 24-hour crisis hotline at (205) 322-4878 or toll free at 1-800-650-6522.
The YWCA is honored to be recognized by the Birmingham Police Department and looks forward to our continued partnership with them to help put an end to this horrible epidemic. If you would like to learn how you can support our mission, please click here.