TEXARKANA, Texas (KTAL/KMSS) – The emergency shelter for victims of domestic violence remains open, but officials said the pandemic has caused some changes.
Officials with Domestic Violence Prevention, Inc. in Texarkana said they want victims to be aware that help is still just a phone call away. “There are safe places to go, I don’t want somebody at home thinking that they have no options, because there are always options,” said DVP Executive Director Pam Dennington.
Dennington said the number of victims reaching out for help is steady, but she expects to see a spike in cases as they usually do in the summer months. “When the kids are home day in and day out, I think there’s more stress on any relationship. So, when you have a domestic situation going on anyway … then that added stress can just light the fuse of something that’s already been boiling.”
DVP’S main office on Spruce St. in Texarkana remains open to victims, but is currently closed to the public because of the pandemic. That means for now, they’re not accepting donated goods for safety reasons. The group’s resale stores are closed. “Usually with the resale stores we’re bringing in about $1,800 to $2,000 a week, for both stores together so … anything that the community could do to help would be much appreciated as far as monetary donations,” Dennington said.
As counselors and case workers continue to help victims, Dennington has some advice for those that are in an abusive situation. “You know when it’s time to leave, when you’re afraid to be there,” she said. “The important piece is to get out. If you can, contact us before so we can safety plan. If you can’t, just get out and get to a safe location and give our hotline number a call.” The 24-hour crisis line is (903) 793-HELP (4357).
DVP’s main office is located at 424 Spruce St., Texarkana, Texas. The office number is (903) 794-4000. Normal operating hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday. On Friday, the hours are 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
DVP covers Bowie and Cass Counties in Texas. The group covers Miller, Little River, Hempstead, Howard, Pike, Nevada and Lafayette Counties in Ark. You can find them on Facebook @dvptxk and online at https://www.dvptxk.org.