Miami Valley Facebook group helps fill need for items at Artemis Center
DAYTON, Ohio (WKEF/WRGT) - Between July 2016 and July 2017, 116 people were killed in domestic violence incidents, according to the Ohio Domestic Violence Network.
As survivors flee their attackers, they rely on area agencies for support.
"Even just one person doing something can make a world of difference,"said Ashley Irvin.
Irvin is trying to be that change. After losing her mom to cancer last year, she formed a Facebook group hoping to inspire herself and others.
"To help women in whatever situation they're going through," she said.
Titled 'Positive, Peaceful, Beautiful Women,' it's nearing 1,300 members. On Sunday, the group took on domestic violence as their first charity event, collecting donations for the Artemis Center in Dayton.
"Actually, we have a couple of members in our group that have used the Artemis Center and have explained the great things that they do."
Artemis provides wrap-around services for survivors, a safe place to stay and access to community resources.
"Hygiene products, non-perishable food items, clothing, diapers for babies, toys," Irvin said about the list of items they're looking to collect.
The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence estimates around 20,000 calls are placed to domestic violence hotlines every day.
Shelters have limited funding and space as victims flow in. According to a 2017 report by Ohio Attorney General Mike Dewine, there were more than 67,000 reported victims statewide.
Many of those victims need a temporary place to stay, and there are potentially more victims on the way to shelters after Ohio House Bill 1 went into effect Friday. It extends victim's rights to those in a dating relationship, not just domestic partnership, and gives them access to shelters and other state resources.
Ashley hopes the group's efforts can at least help one victim struggling through a difficult time, and raise awareness about the topic.
Donations will be collected all week at AKP Crossfit in Dayton. Everything collected will be taken to Artemis on Friday.