BROKEN BOW–Approximately 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. Domestic abuse hotlines across the nation receive approximately 21,000 calls every day (according to Healing Hearts and Families).
In order to continue serving local clients who have experienced various forms of domestic and/or sexual violence, Healing Hearts and Families will host its annual St. Patrick’s Day Gala this Saturday (March 16).
Located in Broken Bow, Healing Hearts and Families 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.
“They majority of our grants go toward administrative costs. So, these funds (from the gala) come in so that if we’ve exhausted all the other funding we have, we can still give them (clients) that bus ticket, or that transportation, or the shelter they need, or the school supplies, etc.,” Executive Director Suellen Koepke said.
The St. Patrick’s Day Gala will take place on Saturday, March 16 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. A live auction will follow the meal and entertainment will be provided by the South Loup Sunrise Band.
Individual tickets are $40 and can be purchased by calling the Healing Hearts and Families main office at 308-872-2420 or visiting healingheartsandfamilies.com.
Executive Director Suellen Koepke wants everyone to know that Healing Hearts and Families works with victims of human trafficking and the organization is happy to provide information and educate everyone. Incidents happen right here in our own communities and Koepke encourages anyone with a concern to make a phone call.
Staff at Healing Hearts and Families provide a 24/7 crisis line at 1-800-942-4040. Everything is confidential and services can be given to individuals, children, and families.
“If we as a society continue to turn our heads and say ‘no it’s not going to hit rural America’ and be the ostrich with our head in the sand, it’s never going to quit. It’s up to us to bring awareness, to bring an end to it,” Koepke said.
In the past year Healing Hearts and Families has provided services to more than 109 victims, and nearly 225 calls were received from individuals in crisis. Thirty-four nights of shelter were provided during times of homelessness, and the staff has seen 53 individuals in support groups, and hosted 200 therapy sessions.
According to Healing Hearts and Families, 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.