Donna Matthews, DVIS associate director, says they provide comprehensive services: emergency shelter for domestic violence victims and their children, a transitional living program, and counselors and advocates at several locations. In addition, DVIS has a legal team of attorneys and advocates at the Family Safety Center who help people with protective orders and safety planning. Also, a batterers intervention program is in Tulsa. A small office in Sapulpa serves people in Creek County with protective orders, safety planning counseling, and a batterers intervention program. Matthews says that it's important to break the cycle of intergenerational domestic violence. DVIS has children's counselors at their outpatient counseling office in Tulsa, at the emergency shelter, and at the transitional living program. She explains their children's program by saying, "A child who has witnessed domestic violence can come and have some counseling with his or her parent." Matthews says, "They can learn that they can live their lives differently and in a peaceful environment."
Volunteers are critical to their efforts of helping domestic violence and sexual assault victims. Training for volunteers is required. In volunteer training, volunteers learn how to best assist their clients and how to keep confidentiality. Each quarter DVIS has volunteer training. The application for volunteer training is on their website: www.dvis.org. Volunteers can offer direct hands-on assistance with the clients or help behind the scenes. Volunteers have been very helpful in the last two months with their adoptive family program, helping prepare all the gifts donated for the holiday season. Volunteers are needed to answer the phone for their 24 hour emergency crisis line 7-HELP-ME (918-743-5763). Matthew says DVIS provides a lot of support for their volunteers. The next volunteer training is Feb. 1-2. Contact Caroline Holmes, special events and volunteer coordinator, for more information at 918-508-2705.
Another way the Tulsa community can be involved in the work of DVIS is through specific practical donations. DVIS frequently updates their facebook page with current needs they have. For instance if they need blankets, towels, or other items at the shelter they will post those needs on their facebook page. Matthews encourages people to visit and join the DVIS facebook page through the home page of their website and she says the Tulsa community has been very generous in this way.
DVIS on facebook