GREEN BAY, Wis. (WFRV) — Executive Director of Golden House Cheeia Lo says her organization has seen an increased need for services in the past year.
“Every single time law enforcement responds to a domestic violence incident, they give us a call,” she said. “In the last few months, we have seen anywhere between 70 to 90 of those calls each month. Just this past weekend, we took ten of those calls on Saturday and Sunday alone.”
Golden House is taking more calls, both from police and their 24-hour hotline.
“We have taken close to 11,000 hotline calls just this year alone,” Lo said. “Compared to 2019 [when] it was closer to 5,700, and last year it was 12,000. So with this data, we’re going to surpass the numbers that we did last year.”
Survivors in immediate danger are able to temporarily move into Golden House.
According to Lo, the average stay at Golden House has increased from 22 days to 30 days.
Overall, the agency has served 1,701 clients so far in 2021.
Not all of those clients actually move into Golden House.
“We have our mental health therapists and our outreach services,” Lo said, naming two of the additional services offered by the organization.
Those services address all the different types of violence Golden House sees.
“When it comes to violence, there are many different forms of abuse,” Lo listed, “verbal, physical, emotional…”
The issue of violence will take center stage all week at the Greater Green Bay YWCA.
“What we had the teachers do was ask the kids, ‘What does peace look like to you?’ and they created this artwork,” Women’s Empowerment Center Director Suzanne Wittman said, motioning to a wall of paintings behind her.
That artwork represents a week without violence.
“Unfortunately, even in our area, that [violence] exists,” Wittman said, “so what we wanted to do was let people know about it, let them know that we are here to help, just like some of the other organizations that are around the area.”
A Week Without Violence at the YWCA is a week filled with activities and events aimed at raising awareness of the issue of violence against women and families in the area, including a self-defense class that will be held Wednesday evening.
“What we’re looking for is just a better community where people feel safe, they belong, and they feel welcome,” Wittman said.