By: Tori Simkovic
Two organizations committed to combating abuse and domestic violence in the Lowcountry have now merged.
Victim advocates unveiled the new organization on Monday, named Hopeful Horizons, born from a merger between Hope Haven of the Lowcountry and CODA.
Hope Haven has served child abuse and sexual assault victims, while CODA has supported victims of domestic violence.
“When we think about child abuse, domestic violence and sexual assault, often we have this silo mentality where we think child abuse occurs in a vacuum, when often these three issues intersect,” said Shauw Chin Capps, CEO of Hopeful Horizons.
The merger, advocates say, will help both organizations meet the increased need for victim resources.
“We have seen certainly an increased number of referrals on our end with child abuse cases.
Consistently we’ve had about at least a 20 percent increase each year,” Capps said.
14th Circuit Solicitor Duffie Stone and Beaufort County Sheriff P.J. Tanner say Hope Haven and CODA have played key roles in providing support for victims of abuse they both work to protect.
“We need [the organizations] here in Beaufort County because working a sexual assault case or a crime against a child or in some cases domestic violence, often you’re working cases where the victims don’t have the ability to defend themselves,” Sheriff Tanner said.
“What I see as a Solicitor are literally the thousands of victims of child abuse and rape and domestic violence that these organizations have helped over the years. I think it’s going to be nothing but a positive step for both organizations,” Solicitor Stone said.
To learn more about Hopeful Horizons, visit the organization’s website www.hopefulhorizons.org.
Watch the full news story here: http://www.wjcl.com/article/hope-haven-of-the-lowcountry-and-coda-merge-to-combat-child-abuse-and-domestic-violence/8631767