Domestic Violence Shelter Increases Engagement Efforts in Uintah County
As part of a larger effort to better serve the community, The Women’s Crisis Center in Uintah County changed its name last year.
“Men can be victims of interpersonal violence as well,” said Adam Gaus, Executive Director of Friends Against Family Violence, formerly The Women’s Crisis Center. “So ‘The Women's Crisis Center,’ when you hear that you would think that we wouldn't be able to serve men.”
In addition to changing their name to be more inclusive, the non-profit recently hired a community advocate to broaden their engagement in the county. Gaus is especially excited about a new pilot program they’re starting with the Utah Domestic Violence Coalition.
“We are working with the Utah domestic violence coalition to pilot a program called the Domestic Violence High-Risk Team,” Gaus said. “It’s bringing together some key players in our community to identify some high-risk cases in our community.”
The Domestic Violence High-Risk Team would be a community-led effort to determine if a domestic violence situation is potentially lethal to the victim. Similar programs exist in other areas across the country, and it uses a Lethality Assessment Program. The assessment uses data and techniques from law enforcement and other leaders to intervene and help a victim in a potentially dangerous situation.
The pilot is very much in its early stages, and Gaus emphasizes that there are lots of other resources for people in Uintah County.
“We have many resources, it’s not just a shelter,” Gaus said. “We have safety planning, legal services, reach out to our hotline, and we are more than happy to help people in our community.”