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Grant will benefit Hispanic community

Freedom House receives grant for outreach services

PRINCETON — The Freedom House domestic shelter in Princeton has received a grant from the Women’s Fund of Central Illinois.

Program Services Director for Freedom House Sharon Mindock said Freedom House received a $5,000 grant to provide outreach services to the Hispanic population. Reaching out to Latino women will offer Spanish-speaking women the opportunity to learn about the cycle of violence and how to seek help when needed, she said.

Through informal meetings based in the Hispanic community, Freedom House will offer education and support to this high-risk population, Mindock said. The goal of the program is to increase the safety and well-being of this minority group.

Specifically, one of the under-served populations in the Freedom House service area is the Hispanic community in DePue, Mindock said. A part-time Hispanic advocate will be responsible for providing case management and other services to meet the needs of individuals and families in the community. That person has been hired and is in place.

The details of the DePue outreach are still being determined, including the location for the meetings and whether this would be a group-type setting or individual meetings. Mindock said Freedom House has been meeting with individuals from the area already.

According to the press release announcing the Freedom House grant, it is estimated that every nine seconds a women is battered, and that violence will occur at least once in two-thirds of all marriages. Twenty-five percent of the women in the United States, approximately 12 million, will be abused by their current or former partners at some point in their lifetime. Three to four million are physically abused each year.

There can be some challenges in providing services to the Latino community because of a potential language barrier and also different ideas about seeking outside help, Mindock said.

“Bringing domestic violence detection, education and prevention directly to women in their home community will help these women learn it is OK to ask for help while supporting them in their cultural needs,” Mindock said.

Freedom House is the only recognized domestic and sexual violence service agency for the counties of Bureau, Marshall, Putnam, Stark and Henry.

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