Invaluable Dayton Resource for Victims of Domestic Violence
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Invaluable Dayton Resource for Victims of Domestic Violence

Invaluable Dayton Resource for Victims of Domestic Violence
Another Food Critic
Sunday, October 7, 2012

Since 1985, the Artemis Center has been an invaluable resource for Dayton residents who are victims of domestic violence. As a support center and advocate for those who have nowhere else to turn, the center sees a staggering 5,000 people a year.

Invaluable Dayton Resource for Victims of Domestic Violence

Since 1985, the Artemis Center has been an invaluable resource for Dayton residents who are victims of domestic violence. As a support center and advocate for those who have nowhere else to turn, the center sees a staggering 5,000 people a year.

I spoke with Patti Schwarztrauber, executive director of the center, about the benefits of this nonprofit organization, and the challenges it faces as it struggles for funding amid a struggling economy.

Dayton Local: How did the Artemis Center begin?

Patti Schwarztrauber: "We started as a group of women who were working with some victims through the shelter and recognized there were other needs that battered women often have aside from shelter services, so they decided to put together an agency to provide for those needs. Without any funding they decided to start their own agency, and it’s been growing ever since. There were about 5 in the group, and they were watching The Burning Bed and saw how difficult it was for a victim to be able to escape the violence, and they wanted to be helpful to the victims in that way.”

DL: What kind of services do you provide?

PS: "We do lots of different stuff, we go with victims to court if they need accompaniment to a criminal hearing, or if they want to get a civil protection order we’ll help them do that. If they want to do safety planning, we do that with just about everybody we talk to, and do an individual safety plan with each person to meet their needs. 

"We do a lot of support; a lot of people who call our domestic violence hotline, which we share with the YWCA during nights and weekends, a lot of the people who call us are initially looking for support and want to do a reality check and talk about their circumstances, if it’s abuse and against the law. We do a lot of those; those phone calls are often up to an hour in length. Then, if a person wants to come in and receive some additional information we offer them that opportunity.”

"We see kids who have witnessed domestic violence. All of our services to clients are free. Whatever a particular individual needs. We see way more women than men, occasionally we do see men. Domestic violence also happens in same-sex relationships and sometimes, the woman is the primary aggressor, so we do see those situations. It’s just that we approach it the same way as breast cancer; people talk about it as a women’s issue, and in fact it can happen to males too, it’s just less common. It’s not that we don’t serve males just less frequently.”

DL: What kind of niche do you fill that other agencies may not emphasize as much?

PS: "Because there is no automatic funding for this kind of service, victims would have nowhere to turn except to the traditional police response. Sometimes the victim does not want to call the police. Most of the time they want violence to stop, they don’t necessarily want the person punished, so calling the police or the prosecutor is not what they want to do.” 

"We’re able to give them a full range of options and we’re very empowerment-based. We’re the ones who aren’t going to be telling them what they should or shouldn’t do, we leave it to the individual to determine what she wants to do, and we help them do that.”

"We work collaboratively with other agencies in town, we have an advocate that works out of children’s services, and we have one that works out of the jobs center to try to make our services more convenient for people where they’re at.”

DL: How can people help?

PS: "We have a pantry on the premises if somebody is leaving, we can help them get set up. We’re always looking for non-perishable food items, diapers, baby formula, that type of thing, we also look for volunteers to assist us to put on a few fundraising events and we’re always looking for volunteers.”

"We do all kinds of things. We had someone call us last week and offer a car, and we had a client that needed transportation so that was very helpful. Then of course we always accept cash donations since we don’t get funding. We get grants, but it’s always a challenge for us to come up with enough money to be able to meet the need of the clients in the community.”

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About Another Food Critic

Tristan Navera
Tristan Navera is a freelance writer from Dayton, Ohio, and foodie behind Another Food Critic, a blog dedicated to providing comprehensive, insightful and honest restaurant reviews.
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  • Directory Profile:

    Artemis Center
    Artemis Center serves Domestic Violence survivors and their children, throughout the Greater Dayton area. Services are offered in an effort to educate, support and empower survivors.