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The Sun-Times - Heber Springs, AR
  • Gala slated for Haven House

  • Margie's Haven House will celebrate 25 years with a fundraising gala this September
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  • Margie’s Haven House, which has provided invaluable assistance to victims of domestic violence through the years, is planning its first annual fundraising gala this year. 
     
    “This is our 25th year of being in business here at Margie’s,” said Director Kathy Bryan.  “We wanted to have an anniversary celebration, so we decided to have a gala, which will take place September 26th at the Red Apple Inn.”
     
    The plan is for the gala to be an annual event and fundraiser for Haven House.  It will be a semi-formal event titled “Breaking Free, A Night of Celebration” and a ticket will cost $75.
     
    “There will be fundraising, a silent auction, and we will also be raising awareness, including spotlighting a victim or two that have lived through domestic violence,” said Bryan. 
     
    Bryan also updated us on what is happening at Margie’s Haven House currently. 
     
    “Domestic violence does happen all year round; however, there are pockets through the year that tend to be worse and summer is one of those,” said Bryan.
     
    There are a number of contributing factors that make summer a high-risk time for domestic violence, according to Bryan.  Oftentimes, the natural aggression in those prone to violence is exacerbated by children being out of school and present, summer heat and humidity, and drinking alcohol. 
     
    “People tend to think of us heavily during holidays and we have an amazing community that supports us,” continued Bryan.  “But donations do tend to drop off this time of year.”
     
    The house has aged to the point that it needs a new HVAC system and a new roof within the next year.
     
    “I’m not sure the HVAC system will make it another year,” said Bryan.
     
    They are also looking for assistance with their flowerbeds, which need attention.
     
    Bryan also revealed a surprising statistic that shows victims of domestic violence are often safer when they are inebriated. 
     
    “If they stay under the influence of some kind, they are less likely to be abused from a statistical standpoint,” said Bryan.  “It is because it keeps them more compliant and their defenses down, so even if their abuser is in an abusive mood they are going to get harmed less because they often fight back less.” 
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    Bryan brought this up to highlight how domestic violence doesn’t just affect the victim in a physically violent way.  Many times it will cause the victim to resort to substance abuse as a coping mechanism to deal with the violence.  The substance abuse weakens their will even further, causing them to remain in a situation that is potentially deadly. 
     
    “Those are the times they feel safer,” said Bryan.  “The times they are most at risk is when they try to leave.  The highest point of risk of death or injury is when they are trying to leave.”
     
    In the last nine months that Bryan has served as Director of the shelter, she has noticed a sharp increase of substance abuse in domestic violence victims.
     
    “I have noticed and was taught, as has most people been taught in dv (domestic violence) training, that it’s 50% or more,” said Bryan. “I’m seeing more like 80-90%. It’s rare that we get someone now that doesn’t have some kind of substance abuse problem.”
     
    To help combat this problem, Margie’s Haven House began implementing a volunteer program called Celebrate Recovery as an option for substance abuse help that extends beyond the 30 day emergency shelter the house provides.  Though it’s not required, Bryan said that many of the victims have expressed excitement about the program and it has seen definite success in those interested in seeking out that help.  This program is offered along with the traditional Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and NA (Narcotics Anonymous).
     
    For anyone in need of emergency help from Margie’s Haven House, interested in the programs they offer, or want to help with their fundraising gala, call them at 501-362-6757.
     

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