Technology improvements increase domestic violence center's capabilities

YWCA Greater Lafayette partnered with the Zonta Club of Frankfort for its project, Domestic Violence Program Technology for Connectivity. The YWCA's domestic violence program has been serving the community for more than 50 years. In 2019, 1,205 women and girls benefited from the Advocacy Center's services, including their shelter, support groups and legal advocacy. 

Funded by a US$4,692 grant from Zonta International, the project provided phone lines and the technology to program multi-line digital phones in offices on the second floor and a projector in the meeting room of a 100-year-old house made of thick plaster. 

The grant has made domestic violence advocates more accessible to victims and families in crisis. The original phone line was installed in the basement and an earlier attempt to use a wireless signal to upper floors was unsuccessful. The projector allows staff to show educational safety and recovery information in a classroom setting. 

In addition to the expected results, the Domestic Violence Intervention and Prevention Program benefited in an important and timely manner with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. With so much more advocacy being conducted by phone, conference and video calls, the reliable connectivity made a noticeable difference in advocates' ability to continue services to survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault.

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