August 2011



Bluffton United Methodist Church - Good Friend to CODA

For almost ten years,  the Mission Team of the  Bluftton United Methodist Church has generously supported the women and children served by CODA. The  team annually sets aside a Sunday as "CODA Sunday." On the designated day members of the congregation bring needed donations for CODA's shelter and representatives from CODA  speak about CODA's work and the prevalence of domestic violence in our community.
Sunday, July 10 Joy McCaskey, a survivor of domestic violence and former CODA resident, riveted the congregation with her personal story of abuse and survival. (She is pictured above at right with Pastor Joey McDonald and Mission Team Chairperson Jenny Brannen.) McCaskey, a Hilton Head product of a “strong Christian family,”  exemplifies the reality that domestic violence affects people from all socio-economic backgrounds, faiths and races. She described the process of finding the strength— with help of CODA staff and counselors — to leave her situation and provide a life of emotional and physical safety for herself and her son.

In a poignant moment, she described her first night in shelter and the comfort brought her by a hand-made pillow case whose attached message assured Joy she was in the thoughts and prayers of the person who fashioned it. She then held up the pillow case for all to see. The cases  are created by members of the congregation who could finally meet and be thanked by one of the many recipients of their loving work.

Below are a portion of the gifts donated to CODA.


Progress in DV Prosecution Encouraging

Assistant Solicitor Erin Gentry and Victim Advocate, Wanda Morgan, of the 14thJudicial Circuit (shown above, standing on far left and middle) recently visited CODA staff to update them on changes in the disposition of criminal domestic violence (cdv) cases within the circuit. Under a grant from the Violence Against Women Act, the two are dedicated to dealing with all cdv cases in Colleton, Jasper, Hampton and Allendale counties, the first three of which are served by CODA.
Since assuming the role in January, Gentry has worked with the courts to set aside one day a month when cdv cases are heard in each county. The streamlined scheduling allows Morgan sufficient time to notify and inform victims and Gentry the ability to be present at all cases in the four counties. (Prior to reorganization, cdv cases were heard randomly causing conflicts and notification errors as well as prohibiting the solicitor's office from prosecuting all cases.)
The streamlining directly impacts CODA’s ability to serve victims. Formerly, CODA’s court advocate could encounter difficulties learning when her clients’ cases would be heard or who would be prosecuting them. She now no longer has to try to reach contacts in three counties but can get direct responses from Gentry and Morgan.  

Let's Taste and Toast!

We hope you can join CODA — friends, board, volunteers and staff —  August 13th at Dataw Island Clubhouse for the Beaufort Taste & Toast. 

The event is a fabulous opportunity to sample signature dishes and wine pairings from six of Beaufort’s finest restaurants.   All proceeds will benefit Lowcountry victims of domestic violence and their children who seek shelter, services, and support from CODA.

Tickets are only $40 per person and must be purchased in advance to allow entry onto Dataw Island.  For tickets, please call Ann Brown at 843-838-8428 or simply write a check payable to “Dataw Island Club”, include the names of attendees, and mail to:  CODA, P.O. Box 1775, Beaufort, SC, 29901

See you there! 

DV and Mental Health

Amanda MacMillan
Reprinted from 8-2-11

Women are drastically more likely to develop a mental disorder at some point in their lives if they have been the victim of rape, sexual assault, stalking, or intimate-partner violence, according to a new study in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

While the connection between these harrowing experiences and poor mental health is hardly surprising, experts say the new findings highlight just how strongly the two problems are intertwined -- and how important it is for doctors and other health-care workers to ask women about past episodes of violence, even if they happened years ago.

"When professionals are treating women with depression or mental health issues, it's best to be clued in to the fact that violence might be behind [it]," says Andrea Gielen, Sc.D., director for the Center for Injury Research and Policy at Johns Hopkins University, in Baltimore, who was not involved in the study.

The findings drive home [the reality] that violence against women is a major public health concern.

Playing is a Good Thing

Some work, some play. CODA’s children’s counselor Paula happily identifies with the latter group. And she brings a range of talents and toys to the playground.
Children find it difficult to verbalize their thoughts and feelings. According to Paula, play therapy is an opportunity for them to express themselves naturally and work through dilemmas in their lives. Two of the children’s program’s most recent acquisitions are a doll house complete with resident family and a sandplay box.
Like the characters in the dollhouse, a plethora of characters, animals, vehicles, plants and bridges are available to build scenarios in the sandplay box.  As the children act out their concerns or fears  in the security and privacy of Paula’s presence, their choice and placement of toys indicate some of the issues with which they are coping. More importantly, Paula can gauge improvement as the child, over weeks, develops scenarios to face or even overcome the problems.  She is always on the lookout for interesting additions to her cast of characters to add to the play — and healing. 

The photos above show some of the sandplay characters and one child's scene. The dollhouse is shown below.


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Copyright © 2011 - Citizens Opposed to Domestic Abuse

Our mailing address is:
P.O. Box 1775
Beaufort, SC 29901


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CODA · P.O. Box 1775 · Beaufort, South Carolina 29906

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