Home Projects The Family Crisis Center: Helping a community in need

The Family Crisis Center: Helping a community in need

Trigger Warning: Sexual assault, domestic violence, stalking, harassment and rape.

24-Hour Crisis Line Hotline: 208-235-2412

National Domestic Violence Hotline:800-799-7233

According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV)

20 people per minute are physically abused by an intimate partner in the United States.

— One in four women and one in nine men experience severe intimate partner physical violence, intimate partner contact sexual violence and/or intimate partner stalking with impacts such as injury.

Chloe Aponte is the public awareness and internship supervisor at the Family Crisis Center, located at 16 E. Main Street just opposite the Rexburg Police Department.

Aponte shared that the purpose of the Family Crisis Center is to serve survivors of domestic abuse and sexual assault.

What are the resources they provide?

Food Bank

Thrift Store

Counseling services

Sexual Assault Services (Nurse and facility)

— After-hours advocacy

Food Bank

The Food Bank at the center hopes to serve all Madison County residents in need. Any Madison County resident has access to the food bank.

“It serves (all) Madison County residents,” Aponte said. “So students are able to access that even though (they) are here temporarily. Everything has been sustained by the community and by volunteers.”

Sexual Assault Services

The Family Crisis Center provides a sexual assault examination room for clients who suffered from a traumatic encounter.

Erin Bennion, the department head of nursing at BYU-I, is an on-call nurse for the crisis center. Aponte shared that the crisis center may be a quicker alternative to the emergency room for sexual assault victims.

“People aren’t waiting in an ER for 13 to 36 hours,” Aponte said. “And that’s people that have just been assaulted. They just have to sit there in those clothes and with everything all over them, and wait until someone who’s qualified to do that exam.”

After Hours Advocacy

The Center provides training for its advocates. Each member is required to attend a 40-hour training on domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking, but also specifically on the community needs and what that looks like in the Rexburg community.

After-hours advocacy-trained volunteers operate the crisis lines, listening to the callers in need.

“We refer out to counseling agencies we refer out to like legal aid,” Aponte said.We partner with law enforcement. We partner with housing agencies. In the community, we do have a transitional housing program. So if they’re ready to leave an abusive situation them and kids or whoever, they’re able to apply for a transitional housing program.

How are they funded?

The Family Crisis Center is a non-profit organization funded by grants and donations to its thrift store. The thrift store is open from Monday-Saturday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

“We’re grant-funded through state and federal grants,” Aponte said. “But our thrift store is our main fundraising source.”

Why is the Family Crisis Center important to the community?

Aponte shared that despite Rexburg being a strong LDS community, its residents are not immune to sexual assault cases. Many such cases include those from BYU-I.

“In 2021, from our data, total victims that were 18 to 25 years old are on the rise, that includes the campus population,” Aponte said. “Fifty-five clients come in that self-identified in that age range as being either victim of domestic violence or victims of sexual assault.”

Aponte also shares that most community members who were sexually assaulted would not report it, so the declared numbers are possibly significantly higher.

How can the Rexburg community help out?

Aponte shares that the center is always in need of volunteers for the food bank and thrift store. Look out for activities hosted by the Family Crisis Center on their website.

Volunteering opportunities in the center include Advocacy services, service groups, thrift stores and donation drives.

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