Southern Valley Alliance
Location: Hope Lutheran Church in Jordan 9:30 – 11:00 a.m.
Bethany Tjornhom, FISH Executive Director, welcomed 16 people to the meeting. Information about FISH was shared as well as three filled FISH needs.
This month we heard from Katie Schaumann from Southern Valley Alliance. A fun fact about Katie is she is in a rock band! She shared with us that SVA is celebrating 40 years being open this year. SVA was founded in 1982 by Maxine Kruschke in her kitchen. Since then, SVA has been able to help 23,000 men and women in Scott and Carver County. Katie gave an interesting statistic that not only will 1-3 women experience physic abuse in a lifetime, but 1-4 men will also. In 2020 they rebranded from Southern Valley Alliance for Battered Women, to Southern Valley Alliance to be more inclusive to men dealing with verbal, mental and physical abuse.
The SVA mission and vision is to assist victims of domestic violence and end domestic violence in the local community. Their goals are to:
- Empower individuals to reclaim control over their lives and stop abuse,
- Protect victims and their children from domestic violence and related issues,
- Promote reporting of domestic violence and assist all affected family members,
- Educate individuals in our community to recognize and prevent violence at home
They have a 24/7 crisis hotline for anyone to call who is experience abuse. SVA also offers a verity of ways they can help a survivor, from being a support system in court hearings, to offering support groups with free onsite childcare at these support groups. They also partner with Minnesota Day One, and local businesses to provide emergency shelter for survivors leaving an abusive situation.
SVA launched a piolet program in June of 2022 called VAWA S.T.O.P. grant. The grant is administered through The Office of Violence Against Women (OVW), which is a component of the U.S. Department of Justice. It creates and implements a screening tool that identifies lethality in domestic violence cases. It’s a 10 question screen that the police give to get a better snapshot of what has been going on. If the person is high risk, the officer will connect the victim with an advocate. It has been shown to lower homicide in abuse situations by 60%.
Another program they are launching is hospital advocacy. They are offering a new tele-advocacy program at St. Francis Regional Medical Center, which connects survivors to vital support and resources while in abuse examinations or hospital stays through facetime or phone call.
SVA is Currently located in Belle Plaine, but just recently purchased a new office that will be in Shakopee. They are currently doing renovations and plan on moving into their new space in 2023. It will be directly across from the Scott County Sheriff’s Office, and 1 block from Government Center. This will make SVA much more accessible to victims since it has access to public transportation nearby. It will also help increase court advocacy, and access to essential services for the survivors they are helping.
Ways to get involved with SVA:
- Invite them to speak at your businesses or churches
- Follow them on social media and share with your friends
- Hang up crisis posters in your bathrooms at your workplaces or faith communities
- Volunteer at their annual Gifts of Hope every holiday, by helping organize and distribute gifts to survivors and their children
- October is domestic violence month so help support survivors by putting purple lights outside of house, putting up yard signs and being involved with their upcoming
SVA General Presentation 2022 – FISH
- 2nd Harvest food distribution on the second Thursday of each month at Friendship Church in Prior Lake – 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. No eligibility requirements, everyone gets two boxes of groceries and only need an ID with your address.
- Our next 2nd Thursday Meeting will be on September 8, 2022, about Equity and Diversity featuring Mi C.A.S.A and will be held at the Shakopee Community Center