Rebecca Hobbs, Executive Director of Through These Doors, was our guest and speaker on March 26, 2019.  This organization was started in 1977 by a group of volunteers and was formerly known as Family Crisis Services. Our own Judith Reidman is currently Chairman of their Board.
Domestic abuse was once considered to be a “family matter”.  It wasn’t a crime, so police could not do much even when called. Starting in 1977, Family Crisis Center (later Services) initially provided a place for women fleeing abusive husbands to hide.  In the 1980s, laws started to change. People began to admit that there was an issue. In 1994, Federal Law was passed recognizing domestic violence as a crime. This year saw re-authorization of federal law which enjoys bipartisan support.
Their new name reflects that they are much more than a service organization. Their goal is keeping people safe within their community to avoid disrupting lives. This is made easier with available technology like electronic monitoring and with intervention programs for abusers.  There is also quick follow-up by police and advocates following a report.
They work with about 3500 people a year who are living better lives thanks to their programs and services.  These include a 24-hour helpline (1-800-537-6066), court advocates, emergency housing, and transitional housing.  They also visit businesses, churches and work with police departments to educate. One interesting program is called Guys with Pies, a group for young men who discuss over pizza how they can reduce violence in their lives.
We learned that 5-10% of their clients are men, consistent with national statistics.  They also have a program targeted to college campus safety.  A new program is focused on abuse later in life.  In the area of elder abuse, the percentage of men rises to about 30% of cases.
For more information or find out how you can help, visit their website: