9. WE SERVE ALL OF NORTH KLAMATH COUNTY


Our extensive network for transportation includes Diamond Lake Junction, Beaver Marsh, Chemult, Two Rivers North, Highway 58, Crescent Lake, Diamond Peaks, Schoonover, Crescent, Gilchrist, Hackett Drive, Jack Pine Village, Wagon Trail North, Antelope Meadows, Sun Forest and Split Rail areas.   

      

   Here in Central Oregon the need for help for victims of domestic violence is a stark and dark contrast to the areas’ natural beauty. But the need is great. For this reason the Klamath Crisis Center in Klamath Falls has set up the North Klamath Outreach to serve the victims in the north county’s 2400 square miles. Marta’s House, the residence for Klamath Crisis Center victims, has a long history of effective, immediate intervention and long-term support for ending domestic violence.

   Several cultural factors are deeply entrenched in our society and make it difficult to even speak about the problem. Remote areas attract abusers because they can hide their actions better and people in rural areas tend to have a “that’s their business” attitude. We often profile in our minds that all victims are uneducated, poor or even “ask for it”. But is that true? Physical and sexual violence is an equal opportunity offender. All economic classes, cultures and education levels are affected the same and nobody is helped by repeated abuse. Perhaps we don’t want to think about it until it affects us personally. “We don’t want to wait until someone we love is dead or in a coma”, says the residence director at Marta’s House. It is discouraging to the thousands of wonderful fathers and husbands who are “doing it right” in our area. Talking about domestic and sexual violence just makes fodder for the male bashing that we also need to stop. So what do we do?

   In 2009 there were 109 domestic violence incidents in the north county alone where law enforcement was called to intervene. It is estimated that the actual need is twenty times that number. We are looking for volunteers to join our outreach and help. Wanda Powless, the Crisis Center’s Executive Director has designated the next several months to find what our needs and wants are. Would a confidential support group help? Are there people who would operate a help line? Can we get public speakers here from the Klamath Falls’ successful Domestic Violence Task Force?  Would we benefit from education? For teens, could we set up assistance through the school based Health Center at Gilchrist? Besides the physical and emotional suffering there are financial costs to families, employers and government agencies. Would we like to fund a well-defined program to fight it? Would some of us provide immediate, safe host housing when the roads are impassable? Think about what you would like to see happen here.

 

WE ARE HERE TO HELP. . . . . . . . WE ARE HERE TO LISTEN

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