Jersey Battered Women's Service Protects and Empowers Victims
As part of Make a Difference Week, Steve Adubato goes one-on-one with Patricia Sly, President and CEO of the Jersey Battered Women’s Service. Sly explains how her organization protects and empowers the victim by providing rehabilitation of family members and educating the public about domestic violence and its consequence.
"We now welcome Patty Sly, who is the President and Chief Executive Officer of an absolutely terrific organization making a difference in the lives of so many people needing help. The Jersey Battered Women's Service. Good to see you Patty. Thank you for having me. Describe your organization. We are a domestic violence agency that serves victims and their families who are facing domestic violence and trying to establish safety and have permanent self sufficiency. How pervasive is the problem of domestic violence today in 2017 as we tape this program? One in three women in their lifetime will be a victim of abuse and there are also men who are victims as well and it is, when you think in terms of prevalence related to breast cancer, it's twice as common. Why? It's underreported. It's misunderstood, it's hidden in many people’s eyes and there is an unwarranted but pervasive shame associated with coming forward and seeking services. Some of the most common - I'll use the term "misconceptions" - about domestic violence include that it only happens to poor people or it only happens in cities or only certain ethnicities, religions, or uneducated people. It is an equal opportunity problem. It is in every community. How did you get into this? I was working in a hospital and was partnering with Jersey Battered Women's Service on identifying victims who were hospitalized. I became a volunteer on the finance committee at JBWS and then the executive director left and the rest is history. You know Patty, I say this all the time, but we got into this so many years ago in order to provide important, valuable public information, and so in that spirit, the website is up right now, but there is also a 24 hour hotline. We don't tell the location of where your offices are, but what can we tell the people right now watching who either are experiencing domestic violence and are looking for help or you potentially, and this is a more complicated piece on some of them maybe, is if you know of someone. What do they do right now? So they can call the hotline for sure. Who's on the other end? There's a trained counselor on the other end who can talk them through the problem. Help them either address their own problem or know effectively how to support somebody who they think is being victimized. There's a mnemonic device that's on our website that's called "CONCERN" that helps people speak with a potential victim in a non judgmental and supportive way and that's often very helpful as well. We're looking at the..."