Domestic Violence Intervention Month is October, and advocates, the city of Fallon and residents gathered at the Maine Street fountain Friday morning where Mayor Ken Tedford read a proclamation.
Photo by Steve Ranson.
Domestic Violence Intervention Month kicked off Friday with the ceremonial purple dyeing of the Maine Street fountain and a relocation to downtown Fallon to better serve their clients.
“We moved into our new offices last week,” said DVI Executive Director Karen Moessner. “We plan to continue the same services.”
DVI is located in the former Lahontan Valley News office at 37 S. Maine St.
Moessner said DVI will have a 24-hour crisis line and also 24-hour advocate response. She said callers who need immediate help will reach a person at 775-427-1500. To contact an advocate and leave a message, the number is 775-423-1313. Moessner’s email is firstname.lastname@example.org. The website is at dvifallon.org. and the Facebook page is divfallon.
Mayor Ken Tedford, second from right, presents a proclamation to Domestic Violence Intervention Executive Director Karen Moessner declaring October as DVI Month.
“We also provide peer counseling, court accompaniment, help with protection applications, assistance with TPO (temporary protection order),” she added.
Moessner said the DVI Fallon office is also serving the Fernley and Yerington areas, and because of a law passed by the 2021 Nevada Legislature, the DVI programs will receive $50 from every marriage license. She said the fee has doubled.
Mayor Ken Tedford said it’s important for the community to recognize domestic violence and to report it. He said domestic violence not only hurts families, but it can also destroy families.
“I try to be as supportive as I can, and we need to get the word out more,” Tedford said.
The mayor said DVI month is just as important as Child Abuse Awareness Month in April and how the community can offer support.
During the month of October, though, Moessner said DVI advocates assisted her by hanging T-shirts at Millennium Park to bring additional awareness. Each T-shirt has a message written by either an abuse victim or a person who knows someone affected by domestic violence.
Fallon’s Volunteer in Police Services members Donn Sheldon and Tom Goodson will visit schools during the week of Oct. 18-22 to receive pledges from students that hands are not for hitting. Moessner added DVI’s converted yellow school bus that is used for the hands are not for hitting program will be at the Trunk or Treating at the end of the month.
Bringing awareness is a major component of Domestic Violence Intervention Month. Hanging T-shirts with special messages at Millennium Park are, from left, advocates Carin Gomes and Colleen Beam, Fernley DVI advocate Andrea Benally and Fallon DVI Executive Director Karen Moessner.
During the coronavirus pandemic that’s lasted for 18 months, Moessner said the local DVI program saw an increase in the number of calls, but the program had to cut back on services such as restricting the shelter from three families to one family and using taxis to transport clients to their appointments.
Because of COVID, Moessner said it was difficult to isolate the families in the shelter because they would have to share the bathroom and kitchen. As a result, she said DVI referred to the affected families to a local motel. In its reporting to the state, DVI provided 178 shelter nights and handled 221 crisis/hotline calls.
From July 1, 2020 to Sept. 30, 2021, Moessner said DVI dealt with 306 new and continuing victims. The breakdown showed the “White Non-Latino/Caucasian” group accounted for 167 of the new cases, while 29 included Hispanic/Latino and 28 American Indian/Alaska Native. The most prevalent age group ranged from 39-59 years old.