The Domestic Abuse Resistance Team provides vital services to victims of domestic and dating violence and their children throughout a 7-parish area in North Central Louisiana.
Last year, D.A.R.T. served almost 1,000 women, men and children. 90-100 women, children and men were provided with emergency shelter and 820 new clients received non-residential services such as counseling, protective orders, safety planning and children services.
ALL SERVICES ARE FREE AND CONFIDENTIAL
01. Crisis Intervention
D.A.R.T. maintains a 24/7 Crisis line for those who are confronted with domestic or dating violence. In Lincoln Parish, call 318-251-2255 or in any other parish in Louisiana, call 1-888-411-1888. If you are presently in danger, call 911. D.A.R.T. can help you make a safety plan and talk to you about your situation and what steps you might take next. More about safety a plan.
People who have lived with domestic violence have experienced trauma at varying levels. The domestic violence advocate at D.A.R.T. offers supportive counseling to adult victims of domestic violence and can help to arrange counseling for children who are struggling with the abuse they have witnessed or experienced. Male and female survivors of domestic violence can receive individual counseling services at the Lincoln Parish D.A.R.T. office or may make arrangements to meet with the domestic violence advocate at another location if possible. As with all of D.A.R.T.’s services, counseling is confidential and provided at no cost to the individual. In addition, the domestic violence advocate conducts a weekly support group for survivors of domestic violence. In this setting, people with some distance from the abuse they endured can provide support and encouragement to those whose experiences are more recent such as current residents of the shelter. For more information on counseling services, call 318-513-9373.
03. Legal Advocacy
Legal Advocacy may be defined as “helping domestic violence victims navigate the legal system”. D.A.R.T.’s legal advocate provides clerical assistance with filing restraining orders and pressing charges. She helps victims to understand the legal process, and provides support during court appearances. The legal advocate also makes referrals to legal services and accompanies victims to appointments with law enforcement personnel, if requested, and collaborates with both law enforcement and court systems to assist victims.
D.A.R.T.’s legal advocate organizes and hosts an annual seminar and training for law enforcement members, social workers, and other professionals who deal with domestic violence in their work. Called “Collaboration is the Key”, it creates an opportunity for different groups in the community to come together and get up to the date information about domestic violence, cyber stalking, human trafficking and other related crimes.
04. Children's Program
The mission of the children’s program at D.A.R.T. is to create a safe, supportive environment for young people who have experienced or witnessed abuse at home. Individual and group events are designed to encourage safety and self-esteem, teach coping skills and help them manage the variety of emotions they might have as a result of the trauma they have experienced.
This year, our children’s program has grown to include its own website, dartkids.org, and additional groups have had to be added to accommodate the steadily increasing numbers of children who attend.
Each week, children who have experienced family violence gather for food and fun in the children’s building. The child advocate also plans monthly special events for children of adults served by D.A.R.T. with community partners and students from local schools and universities on hand to help with a variety of games, crafts, snacks and activities. Children who participate regularly in these events receive school uniforms and supplies in August, and are invited to create a wish list for our Angel Tree project each December.
05. Community Education
One of D.A.R.T.’s goals is to increase the community’s understanding of domestic violence, its causes, warning signs, and impact upon both families and the communities where they live. D.A.R.T.’s community advocates and other staff members provide a variety of public speaking and awareness events for clubs, organizations, churches and businesses. D.A.R.T. is an active participant in health and agency fairs, and partners with local schools and universities to provide education about dating and domestic violence as well as stalking. D.A.R.T. also hosts an annual seminar, Collaboration is the Key, for members of law enforcement, clergy, and other concerned groups. Finally, D.A.R.T.’s annual Radiothon and Men Standing Strong campaign both provide strong avenues for increased awareness throughout the community.
D.A.R.T. writes a weekly newspaper column which provides an avenue for further education and awareness. In addition, D.A.R.T. maintains a website and Facebook page, displays posters and banners, does television and radio interviews, and publishes a newsletter.
The primary need of individuals fleeing a violent and abusive partner is safety. With four bedrooms, our current shelter can offer privacy to each family who arrive in crisis. In a safe and homelike setting, they can begin to recover from the trauma they have experienced and make a plan for the future.
The shelter is staffed 24/7 to meet the needs of residents. Shelter advocates help families with emergency needs such as medical care and clothing. In addition, we provide case management services, helping survivors to locate housing, jobs, education and training, and making contact with other supportive agencies. D.A.R.T. provides transportation for all goal-related activities if needed.
Shelter residents share in cooking and cleaning duties for themselves and their families. Staff members coordinate special activities such as pizza & movie nights, makeovers, barbecues, and game nights. An outdoor playground has been added to the shelter over the years as well as a separate children’s building that is used for D.A.R.T.’s weekly children’s group.
07. Case Management
Domestic violence victims need a variety of community services. D.A.R.T. works with individuals to establish goals and to provide direction and support to obtain their goals. D.A.R.T. also networks with other community agencies to supplement survivor’s needs.