York, PA – (June 22, 2018) The Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency recently awarded YWCA York a grant in the amount of $580,000 through the Victims of Crime Act (VOCA). This award will enhance services provided at YWCA York’s Still Waters domestic violence shelter in Hanover.
For many clients, YWCA York’s 30-day emergency shelter fulfills their needs. It provides the victim a safe, secure location to flee immediate danger and enough time to take the necessary steps in order to get back on their feet. However, in more recent years, YWCA York staff has identified a growing number of clients in need of a longer length of stay along with intensive treatment to aid in healing. The majority of these clients are suffering from the impact of complex trauma. As understanding of the unique and devastating dynamics of complex trauma has grown, the need for specialized transitional housing with intensive treatment for these victims has become apparent. Additionally, as the growing understanding of human trafficking and the needs of these victims are understood, it has become apparent that these victims are almost always dealing with complex trauma.
Complex trauma or Complex Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (C-PTSD) is caused by prolonged or repetitive exposure to harm or abandonment by a caregiver or other interpersonal relationship with an uneven power dynamic. Often, but not always, those suffering from C-PTSD have been subjected to multiple forms of violence. In some cases, a survivor of domestic abuse also suffered childhood traumas, such as childhood sexual abuse or growing up in a home where domestic violence occurred.
YWCA York will provide to victims of domestic violence, sexual assault or human trafficking who suffer from complex trauma a place to live for up to 180 days free of charge while they begin their road to recovery. Additionally, community partners will be sought to bridge any gaps in the services available at Still Waters, specifically support for substance abuse treatment. Through these relationships, YWCA York will offer a complete complement of services for complex trauma clients including those who survived human trafficking.
Funds will impact survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, and/or human trafficking by providing those who suffer from the effects of complex trauma a dedicated facility where they can heal and access supportive services, such as counseling and substance abuse treatment resources at no cost to them.
“On average, victims return to their abuser seven times before severing the relationship for good. For many, the affects of complex trauma reduces the victim’s sense of self-worth and confidence in their ability to live independently. Intensive trauma-informed treatment is an opportunity to break the cycle of violence and create lasting, lifelong change,” states Heather Seton, YWCA York’s Chief Services Officer.
YWCA York is the only provider of free, comprehensive services for victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, and human trafficking in York County. Approximately 400 victims of domestic violence and their dependents are served each year through emergency shelter and transitional housing. This funding will enhance services for 100 victims suffering from complex trauma across York County.
ABOUT YWCA York YWCA York is a nonprofit organization with the mission of eliminating racism, empowering women, and strengthening families. Chartered in 1891, YWCA York has a long and rich history of creating opportunities for women’s growth, leadership and power through a common vision: peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all. Over 23,000 people are serve each year through the programs and services offered throughout York County. Worldwide, the YWCA impacts more than 25 million people in over 120 countries. For information about the YWCA York, visit our website, www.ywcayork.org.