News From Terre Haute, Indiana

October 1, 2013

CODA plans events to raise social consciousness

Lisa Trigg
The Tribune-Star

TERRE HAUTE — October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and the Council on Domestic Abuse is hosting two upcoming events to honor the memory of domestic violence victims.

At 10:30 a.m. Monday, a proclamation banner will be unfurled in the rotunda of the Vigo County Courthouse, suspended from the third floor.

At 6:30 p.m. Monday, an annual candlelight vigil will commence on the steps of Terre Haute City Hall. The vigil is designed to remember those who have lost their lives and to honor those who have been affected by domestic violence. In case of rain, the candlelight vigil will be moved to the city hall courtroom.

Cheryl White, president of the CODA board, said that domestic violence reports have been on the increase in 2013.

The statistics for 2012 show that CODA provided emergency shelter for 130 adults and 126 children for a total of 3,696 nights, which was a 3-percent increase from 2011.

More than 3,000 meals were served, and legal advocacy services were provided for 1,197 victims. CODA helped victims write 253 protective orders and develop 177 safety plans, and answered 312 calls from victims of domestic violence and sexual assault through the 24-hour crisis phone line.

CODA also presented prevention education programs to 1,682 Vigo County students, offered 26 community education sessions and presentations, and had volunteers and interns who logged more than 2,295 volunteer hours.

White said that while the need for CODA services has been increasing, the funding from government grants to provide services has been decreasing. So, CODA depends on community support and fundraisers to operate its programming such as crisis line, emergency shelter, legal advocacy, children’s programs, education and advocacy.

The purposes of Monday’s ceremonies are to remember victims of crime, support their families and loved ones, alert the public to the realities of domestic violence in society, and express hope for a less violent future.

CODA has served the Wabash Valley counties of Vigo, Clay, Parke, Sullivan and Vermillion since 1985.

For more information on CODA and its services, visit codaterrehaute.org.

Reporter Lisa Trigg can be reached at 812-231-4254 or lisa.trigg@tribstar.com. Follow her on Twitter @TribStarLisa.