Agnesian Love Light Effort Helps Domestic Violence Program
The facts about domestic violence can be startling. About 4.8 million women are victimized by intimate partners annually. Increased frequency of violence toward a spouse is associated with increased risk of the violent spouse also being abusive to the child.
As a result of domestic violence, victims can experience depression, suicidal thoughts and attempts, lowered self-esteem, alcohol and other drug abuse, and post-traumatic stress disorder.
The good news is that help is available locally through Agnesian HealthCare’s Domestic Violence Program, reaching out to provide support and resources, along with 24-hour crisis assistance, to survivors of abuse and their families.
This year’s 2014 Love Light fund drive, presented by the Agnesian HealthCare Foundation, will help the Domestic Violence Program continue its mission to advocate for survivors, as well as to educate hospital and clinic staff and other healthcare providers so they can in turn screen patients they see for abuse.
Jim Salasek, PhD, and Tiffany Wiese, of Agnesian HealthCare’s Domestic Violence Program, are serving as this year’s Love Light co-chairpersons.
“We are honored to be the recipients for this year’s Love Light project,” according to Salasek. “Since its inception, the Domestic Violence Program has served more than 5,000 people. We are available 24 hours a day to offer assistance and advocacy in person or by telephone, and to be there along the way.”
The Domestic Violence Program serves individuals at Agnesian HealthCare hospitals in Fond du Lac, Ripon and Waupun, and is only one of two hospital-based domestic violence programs in Wisconsin. The program has been so successful because of the education given to all healthcare associates so they can in turn screen the patients they see for abuse. This helps to make all of Agnesian HealthCare a safer place for victims of abuse and their families.
“Domestic violence can take many forms, but involves using intimidation and threats or violent behaviors to gain power and control over another person,” says Tiffany Wiese, Domestic Violence Program coordinator. “Statistically, the abusive person is usually a male, and women are often the victims; however, men can be victims of domestic violence too. Abuse against children, parents, elders, siblings, friends or roommates is also considered domestic violence.”
Individuals can support Love Lights by purchasing a light in honor of someone they wish to remember or celebrate during the holiday season. This light will shine on the beautifully lit evergreen in front of Agnesian HealthCare.
The names of those honored and remembered will be displayed through the holiday season in the St. Agnes Hospital and Fond du Lac Regional Clinic lobby areas. Love Lights can be purchased for $10 each at both the hospital and clinic information desks, 430 E. Division Street.
The 2014 Love Light Tree Lighting Ceremony is scheduled at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, December 10 at the St. Agnes Hospital lobby.
For more information on this year’s Love Light project, call the Agnesian HealthCare Foundation at (920) 926-4959.