Our twenty-four-hour hotline is always available to seek help from a domestic violence advocate.
CASA provides shelter to victims of domestic violence and their children. Our shelter services provide a safe haven for survivors as they are recovering and working on a plan for a successful life free from abuse and violence. The shelter will provide all food, toiletries, and clothing as needed. All CASA Outreach services are also provided.
Domestic violence advocates provide crisis-intervention counseling to survivors of domestic violence. Advocates talk about dynamics of domestic violence, and they assist survivors with achieving goals and overcoming personal challenges.
The advocates assist survivors of domestic violence with safety planning and goal setting. The advocate works with the survivor to devise a plan to keep the survivor and dependents safe from further abuse. Next, the advocate listens to the goals of the survivor to assist the survivor and to empower them to have a successful, independent life. An advocate may assist the survivor with the following services: shelter, counseling, groups or classes, job assistance, housing referrals, state-aid assistance, legal assistance and accompaniment to court, information and assistance with Victims Crime Compensation, Address Confidentiality Program, and the Relocation Program through the Attorney General's Office.
Women's Empowerment Group
These groups are open to female survivors of domestic violence. The group focuses on the dynamics of domestic violence, the effects of domestic violence on children, safety planning, self-care, healthy boundaries, goal setting, red-flags in relationships, and more. The same classes are also provided to male victims on an individual basis.
Economic Empowerment Program
The Economic Empowerment Program provides a curriculum to teach financial literacy. The 6-week class is offered continuously year-round. Financial instability is one of the largest obstacles for victims of domestic violence. In addition to educating survivors in financial literacy these advocates focus on assisting survivors with developing skills to secure employment and secure affordable housing. CASA has partnerships with local financial institutions, literacy programs, GED programs, Withlacoochee Technical College, Mid Florida Homeless Coalition, Habitat for Humanity, Career Source, the United Way's Prosperity Center, and many more agencies to ensure survivors are working with programs in our community to support their goals.
Casa recognizes that many victims of domestic violence have experienced previous trauma that is unresolved. In addition, some victims have underlying mental health conditions and substance addictions needing treatment by a licensed mental health professional. CASA contracts with a licensed mental health therapist to provide weekly individual and family therapy to address these issues.
CASA provides positive intervention services to children who have been exposed to domestic violence. Services include activities and planned trips that promote character, self-esteem, and healing. Outreach groups are available during times that coincide with the Women's Empowerment and Economic Empowerment Groups. Services also include safety planning, assessing the needs of the children in the shelter and making appropriate referrals.
Domestic Violence Child Welfare Advocate
The Domestic Violence/Child Welfare Advocate is a CASA advocate that works with the local Department of Children and Families, Child Protection Investigation Division. The DVCW Advocate educates protective investigators about domestic violence and batterer accountability and provides CASA services to the non-offending parent when there is domestic violence in the home. The goal is to have children in our community living violence-free and unified with the non-offending parent.
CASA works with the local school system to provide on-going education to youth. The goal of primary prevention is to educate our youth to prevent future domestic violence as either a victim or an abuser. Students are learning about healthy relationships, dating violence, domestic violence, gender stereotypes, and respect. Recognizing the importance of prevention through youth education CASA provides prevention education in elementary, middle, and high school classrooms. CASA is also collaborating with local youth organizations and clubs to further the scope of our prevention program and reach as many young people in Citrus County as we can.
CASA will provide professional training and community education on the dynamics of domestic violence. Professional training is an extensive training available to any business, including law enforcement, health/medical field, and the school system. Community education includes a description of CASA services and a brief overview of domestic violence. CASA attends appropriate community events to increase public awareness of domestic violence and educate the public about the availability of CASA services. By increasing our presence in the community CASA will be able to provide information to concerned citizens and reach victims who may be scared to reach out on their own for help. CASA collaborates with local medical doctors, mental health practitioners, and other businesses frequented by women to provide informational brochures and awareness materials to reach more victims.