By David Esteppe
According to the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN), one out of every six American women is the victim of attempted or completed rape in her lifetime. That statistic for men victimized in their lifetime is one out of every 33. The statistics associated with abuse in our society are staggering. They are broken down by age, acquaintance and sex of victim on the RAINN website.
With new Executive Director Kenosha Davenport, area non-profit Family Refuge Center (FRC) assists families and victims of sexual assault and domestic violence. Last year they provided services to over 900 families last year.
FRC is a community-based domestic violence and sexual assault center, committed to ending physical, sexual and emotional abuse, while promoting healthy family lives, based on mutual respect and support within all family members.
FRC serves Greenbrier, Pocahontas and Monroe counties. The main office is at 105 S. Court Street in Lewisburg, with satellite offices located in Pocahontas and Monroe counties. The only shelter is in Lewisburg. Davenport has hopes of having shelters in the other counties in the future.
Davenport has relocated to Lewisburg in accepting the executive director position of FRC. She comes from Hartselle, Alabama, with her three children. Lewisburg made such an impression on Davenport that she chose to move here, with other opportunities around the country available to her. Greenbrier East High School will be glad to meet her six-foot-four-inch basketball-playing son. She says he is a very talented ball-player. Lucky East!
Davenport has 12 years of experience as a Shelter Relief Specialist, having worked her way up the ladder from working weekends and holiday shifts, all the way to being an executive director.
There are several notable nuances to shelters today compared to days past. “Shelters are not hiding as much as in the past, we want people who need them to find them. And we have both men and women working in the shelter as relief specialists, victim advocates and board members,” Davenport says. “We are starting to do men”s outreach in the community to further our movement to all demographics.”
In answering the questions of what is needed and how the community can help, Davenport explained that the obvious things which come to mind, such as clothing and toys, are not the most helpful items. The things most helpful are paper hygiene products, such as napkins, tissues and toilet paper. Cleaning supplies are also at the top of the list of things needed when someone has been displaced or relocated. Davenport also suggested that one could check out the FRC Facebook page to find out about upcoming fundraising events or visit their website at www.FamilyRefugeCenter.org to make a donation monetarily to the non-profit.
There will be an announcement soon about an upcoming fundraiser for a matching funds grant worth up to $100,000.
Davenport is impressively knowledgeable about the work she does, and matches that knowledge with a passion, saying, “He that does unto the least of them, do unto me.” She is here to stay.