BROKEN BOW–Domestic abuse hotlines across the nation receive approximately 21,000 calls every day. Healing Hearts and Families will host its St. Patrick’s Day Gala in order to raise funds to continue serving clients dealing with domestic and sexual violence.
Healing Hearts and Families in Broken Bow serves eight counties, covering 7,000 square miles (Blaine, Custer, Garfield, Greeley, Loup, Sherman, Valley, and Wheeler). It provides services to survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking. Juvenile diversion programs and counseling services for victims, survivors, and families affected by domestic abuse are also available.
“I don’t care who you are or what gender you are, abuse is wrong and nobody should be treated without dignity and respect,” Executive Director Suellen Koepke said.
In the past year Healing Hearts and Families has provided services to more than 100 victims, and nearly 850 calls were received from individuals in crisis. Forty-two nights of shelter were provided during times of homelessness, and the staff has seen 69 individuals in support groups, and hosted 366 therapy sessions.
The St. Patrick’s Day Gala will take place on Saturday, March 17 at the One Box Convention Center in Broken Bow (2750 South 27th Avenue, Broken Bow, NE 68822). Cocktails begin at 5:30 p.m. along with the silent auction, a catered dinner will begin at 7 p.m. The menu includes prime rib, cheesy garlic potatoes, veggies, Irish cream mudslides, and chocolate grasshopper brownie truffles. A live auction will follow the meal and entertainment will be provided by the band South Loup Sunrise.
Executive Director Suellen Koepke said the funds raised on March 17 will help support programs for individuals and their families who have experienced emotional and physical abuse.
“The whole purpose is for people to have fun. To support a cause that isn’t real popular. You know, nobody likes to think that somebody is going to abuse somebody else. And you don’t go into a relationship thinking oh yes, this is the one I want because I want to get put down every day or whatnot,” Koepke said.
According to Healing Hearts and Families, one in three women and one in four men have been victims of some form of physical violence by an intimate partner within their lifetime. On average, nearly 20 people per minute are physically abused by an intimate partner in the Unites States. During one year, this equates to more than 10 million women and men.