Domestic Violence & Mobility: Beyond Office Walls
Guest Blog by Janae Winder, Nancy’s Transitional Services, Nonprofit Member of Maryland Nonprofits
Each month, Maryland Nonprofits selects a nonprofit member to help raise awareness with a guest blog. Thank you to Nancy’s Transitional Services for donating their time to share today’s blog.
Nancy’s Transitional Services, or NTS for short, is a newly formed 501(c)(3) organization that is aiming to provide an additional means of support to survivors of domestic violence in Anne Arundel County. Our mission is to bridge the gap in existing programs by providing non-traditional services to survivors in transition. Anticipated services include mobile therapy, mobile case management, and supportive financial assistance to address barriers resulting from domestic violence. We believe the convenience and comfort of confidential mobile services can reach survivors who may otherwise remain unserved.
Is it possible to have confidential mobile services? Absolutely! In fact, several organizations in Maryland offer the convenience of meeting their clients in public places to alleviate transportation problems and time constraints. For many years, these services have been offered to veterans, those who are mentally ill, homeless, or diagnosed with HIV/AIDS; sometimes survivors of domestic violence are also served inadvertently as they were referred to an agency for another primary reason. Again we ask, can confidential mobile services exist? Absolutely! Can safe mobile services exist…
…Absolutely! NTS is seeking to dispel many myths about survivors; all are not in hiding, in fear of the public, or recovering from bruises and black eyes. There are many survivors who are empowered and determined to overcome the stigma of being a victim. We see them everyday in public; running errands, working, taking care of their children, and engaging in leisure activities. They are among us. They are us. To encourage such normalcy, NTS hopes to offer services in “normal” environments that are beyond office walls. Our mobile case management will be person-centered with goals determined by the survivor’s interests. For example, case management may include assistance to obtain full-time employment, increase income, secure permanent housing, apply for entitlements/benefits, improve credit, or engage in family counseling. Our mobile therapy will be according to the survivor’s transition or stage of change. As established by James Prochaska and Carlos DiClemente, they are typically five stages experienced on one’s journey for change: pre-contemplation, contemplation, preparation, action, and maintenance (for a further explanation of the stages of change, please click here). Because NTS mobile services are short-term, survivors will be linked to appropriate community resources if long-term services are desired or recommended.
It is important to note that NTS is intended for survivors who feel comfortable meeting in the community; such as the client who is willing to meet during her lunch break at a nearby coffee shop, the client who prefers to meet at his church hall, or the client who is in walking distance to the library. Because NTS is not intended for emergency services or crisis intervention, survivors in perceived imminent danger or in need of emergency assistance would not be appropriate for NTS. Instead, they would be encouraged to contact the Maryland Network Against Domestic Violence or 911 for help. To implement our cost-efficient program, NTS has launched the Beyond Office Walls: Creating NTS campaign to raise public awareness and program funds. Please visit us at www.nancystransitionalservices.org and follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter for updates! Also, feel free to email us for additional ways you can contribute to our organization. We look forward to hearing from you!
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