STEVENS POINT, Wis (WSAU) - One community service is celebrating 35 years of helping families, but wishing they weren’t needed at all. It’s the Family Crisis Center operated by CAP Services in Stevens Point.
Coordinator Jane Benzschawel says domestic violence isn’t going away. “Domestic violence is still a prominent issue, and actually this year, our numbers are up for people served in shelter from last year, so we’re still a very much needed resource in the community.”
Benzschawel is not sure why the number of domestic abuse cases is up this year. “Whether that means they are becoming aware of our services and then using us, or there are increased incidents, we don’t know, but what we do know is that more people having the courage to come and use the shelter.”
When someone seeks help from the Family Crisis Center, the staff offers several resources to their visitors for free in a safe and secure environment for both the victim and the victim’s children. “When we look at how do people connect with their support system, sometimes they don’t even believe that there’s one available to them, so we do try to get out the word that people don’t have to be alone. We’re free and confidential 24 hours a day shelter, crisis line, and walk-in center.”
Benzschawel says it takes courage for someone living in an abusive situation to take that first step for help, but they are there to help. “In the United States, every two minutes, somebody is a victim of interpersonal violence. Knowing that’s the case, it’s happening right here in our community, and it’s a real thing, and other people have gone through this and survived it, and you don’t have to be alone.”
The Family Crisis Center is at 1616 West River Drive in Stevens Point, and is staffed around the clock everyday. They offer free help, so they also appreciate volunteers and donations.
Many of the grants they receive are based on matching funds, volunteer time, or donated supplies. Anyone interested in helping can call them. The Family Crisis Center has a monthly wish list that changes frequently, and everything helps.
Their phone number is (715) 343-7125.
The Family Crisis Center in Stevens Point is not the only such resource, as many counties and communities have a similar service available. Throughout central Wisconsin, you can find out about many types of services by calling United Way’s 2-1-1 or visit them online.