PUMC Helps SERV Bring Peace to Survivors of Violence

Posted by on Aug 5, 2019 in EventReminder, Ministry: Community & Church | 0 comments

One of the offshoots of the fire which destroyed our downtown building in 2003, is that our rebuilt church is a modern facility which can be offered to the many groups needing meeting space.  Being a “community center” and providing meeting space allows us to assist organizations who are providing ministries which go beyond our own expertise.  By partnering with outside organizations in this small way, we have been helping people who are dealing with problems such as addictions, grief, or mental illness.

One of the groups we’re helping is an organization called SERV (Services Empowering Rights of Victims).   SERV is part of an organization called the Center for Family Services.  We are providing SERV a place in which to train their volunteers, and these volunteers are helping victims of domestic violence.

The volunteer training is a 60 hour program in which prospective volunteers are trained to be a “Certified Domestic Violence Response Team” member.  These dedicated individuals rush to places such as hospitals and police stations to provide immediate assistance to victims of domestic violence, sexual violence, and human trafficking.

Domestic Violence Response Teams step into the heat of the moment to provide a  wide range of services to help the victims of sexual or domestic violence.  Here’s how SERV describes their mission: 

SERV provides crisis intervention, counseling, and support to survivors of sexual violence, domestic violence, and human trafficking. Our dedicated team of highly trained and compassionate staff provide personalized care to help people follow a path to healing.

Jesus said “blessed are the peacemakers.”  In the midst of crisis, in the wake of violence, we are called to bring peace.  By supporting SERV, we are bringing peace to the victims of violence and human trafficking.  We are following Jesus’ example of healing.

 

How SERV Brings Healing and Peace…

Here are some of SERV’s current and future programs which minister to the survivors of violence: 

  • Summer group for Teens and Young Adults
    This weekly group is open to female survivors of domestic/sexual violence. The 10-week program includes creative arts, mindfulness, self-esteem building activities, and more.
  • Film Screening & Discussion: Child Sex Trafficking in the USA
    We tend to believe that sex trafficking is something that heppens in “other places.”  But in reality, it’s happening in our own backyard.  The documentry, Playground: The Child Sex Trade in America, is an informative and challenging look at this crime.
  • Therapy through Art
    Creative arts are used in healing groups to support survivors of sexual violence through artistic therapy.  In the making of craft items or planting and nurturing of plants, survivors are affirmed of their self-worth through their creative abilities.
  • Advocacy
    The legal waters for the victims of violence are hard to navigate.  SERV advocates are not attorneys, but they stand with victims at police stations, hospitals, and court rooms to console and inform.
  • Safe House
    In the immediate aftermath of an attack, victims need a safe place to go.  They need to be assured that what happened was not their fault, that they are to be valued and protected. SERV offers 24-hour emergency safe housing for individuals and child survivors of domestic violence.  The safe house offers a caring environment for residents to explore their options without fear of victimization or concern for basic needs such as food, medical services, clothing, and shelter.

For the latest schedule of events, click this button:       Events  

 

Stories of Violence and the Beginning of Recovery

Violence happens to real people and it happens all the time.  In the following video (from the SERV website), survivors describe their experiences and the video shows how SERV begins to help the victim to take the first steps on the path to healing. 

 

 

SERVing Survivors… a Continual Ministry

Domestic violence, sexual violence, and human trafficking are ongoing crimes which debase humanity. It’s been reported that nearly 1/4 of women over the age of 18 have been the victim of domestic violence during their lifetimes.  In New Jersey, an act of domestic violence happens once every 7 minutes.  It’s also disturbing to note that domestic violence is the largest cause of homelessness in the US, but that there are three times as many animal shelters as there are shelters for battered women.

The statistics brutally demonstrate that domestic violence is an ongoing scourge.  Healing is needed.

In order to bring that healing, our efforts must also be ongoing.  SERV continues to train new volunteers, raise funding and supplies, and to reach out to survivors in new and creative ways.  Open the following drop down box to view the latest posts on SERV’s Facebook Page…

SERV Facebook Page

 

To learn more about SERV, visit their website:  SERV   

 

Hotline

If you are in need of immediate assistance, call the SERV hotline:

  • 1-866-295-SERV (7378) (Gloucester County)
  • 1-800-225-0196 (Cumberland County)

Trained advocates are standing by to provide emotional support, safety planning,  and other help.  Utmost confidentiality is maintained.  

 

 

 

 

 

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