Considering the fearful toll of the problem at hand — the folks who dropped by last week’s Radiothon at Chapman Auto Center had a pretty good time.
The Soroptimist International of Zane Grey Country teamed up with Payson Community Kids, the Time Out Domestic Violence Shelter and radio stations KMOG and KRIM to help kids and victims of domestic violence.
The organizers hoped to raise $10,000 by luring potential donors to the dealership for music provided by the black-shirted Real Cowboys BS country band. Organizers also offered a free lunch donated by Safeway, Bashas’, Walgreens, Subway and Pizza Hut.
The Soroptimists have donated more than $88,000 in the past five years to a variety of local charities, including Rim Country Literacy, the Payson Food Bank, the Rim Country Museum, Women’s Wellness Forum and Life Stitches.
This year they’re focusing on Payson Community Kids — which provides after-school programs for children — and Time Out, Rim Country’s only domestic violence shelter.
Payson Community Kids has worked hard to provide creative, fun, after-school programs for children in the community who don’t have a safe place to go after school. The group has revived and refocused following the death of its founder — and also had to come up with money to remodel its facility.
Time Out has struggled to cope with more than $150,000 in state and federal cuts in support, while dealing with a steady increase in calls and requests for shelter. Studies show that when women in violent relationships seek help from such domestic violence shelters, the odds they’ll end up back in an abusive relationship decline by about 70 percent. Shelter operators say that domestic violence often rises during economic downturns as families struggle with added strain — and women find they can’t afford to leave.
The radio stations broadcast live from the fund-raiser all afternoon, drumming up people and donors willing to stop by and have a bite in a good cause.
Eddie Armer got a band together to sing country standards and entertain the lunch crowd, who chatted and munched on the donated pizza, sandwiches and soft drinks.
The afternoon gave a light-hearted feel to one of Rim Country’s most serious problems, the frequent domestic violence calls that remain the most dangerous calls police answer.
Domestic violence calls have increased in recent years, even in the face of an overall decline in major crime. Last year, a violent relationship resulted in a murder-suicide, the first homicide here in years. So far this year despite the budget cuts, Time Out has not had to turn away any women and children seeking shelter. However, the shelter has become even more dependent on donations and sales at its thrift store.
DOMESTIC VIOLENCE STATISTICS
- One in four women (25 percent) has experienced domestic violence in her lifetime.
- Roughly 74 percent of Americans personally know someone who is or has been a victim of domestic violence
- Women ages 20-24 are at the greatest risk of nonfatal intimate partner violence.
- Separated and divorced people face a greater risk of nonfatal intimate partner violence.
- Half of men who assault their wives also abuse their children.
- Women who turn to shelters report a 60-70 percent reduction in incidence and severity of re-assault – a bigger change than either seeking court or law enforcement protection or moving to a new location.
- Domestic violence spurs an estimated $6 billion in medical costs annually.
Sources: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,
The National Institute of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, Physical Violence in American Families, Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing, Allstate Foundation National Poll on Domestic Violence.