By Eric Butler
Domestic violence crosses all boundaries and exists in many forms. That’s the message from one Clovis resident who credits the local Shelter for Victims of Domestic Violence for helping her get out of an abusive relationship.
Kathy Elliott, owner of Elliott Marketing, said the United Way-supported organization smoothed the transition away from a relationship she characterized as both mentally and verbally abusive.
“Even though I wasn’t black and blue, which sometimes makes it harder to identify abuse, it was still a very bad relationship for me and it took me many years to get out of that,” Elliott said.
When the relationship threatened to turn physically abusive, that’s when Elliott said she went for help.
Elliott said she first went to the police, who directed her to the Shelter for Victims of Domestic Violence.
“I just needed a push from them to say, ‘You need to make a break.’ I got it from them and I also got it from the police,” she said.
“I probably would have ended up making the break, but it probably would not have happened as smoothly, because they gave me the space I needed away from him,” she said.
A safehouse, or short-term emergency shelter, for victims of domestic violence is just one of many services the shelter provides for residents in Clovis, Portales and Tucumcari.
Others include support groups, life and social skills development training, civil and legal assistance, domestic violence order (or DVO) assistance, children’s services and rape crisis support.
Much of the work is accomplished through nine domestic violence advocates, who are available for advice through a toll-free line (1-800-401-0305) staffed by employees from the Clovis-based office.
The local Shelter for Victims of Domestic Violence is in a state of transition. Currently, Traci Harris serves as the shelter’s interim director. But, next week, Catharine Johnson — formerly director of the Clovis Downtown Revitalization Program — will become director.
Whoever is in charge, the message will likely always be the same:
“We want them to know that they’re not alone and that it’s not their fault,” said Harris of her message to victims of domestic abuse. “And to tell them to get out — and we will help them in any way we can.”
Shelter for Victims of Domestic Violence
Office: 900 Main St. in Clovis
Mission: To offer domestic violence intervention and prevention services and rape crisis services.
Number of board members: 15
Approximate annual budget: $300,000
Percentage of budget supported by Curry County United Way: 10 percent