Bluffton United Methodist Church - Good Friend
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
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
Reprinted from Health.com 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,
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.