Actress Dot Marie Jones gets emotional during her speech at the DVS High Esteem Luncheon. Eric Roland Photography
Dot Marie Jones, best known for her role as football coach “Shannon Bestie” on Fox’s Glee, raised awareness of domestic violence during her keynote speech at Domestic Violence Solution’s (DVS’s) eighth annual High Esteem Luncheon. The luncheon, which took place at the Four Seasons Biltmore Resort, served as a kickoff for October’s Domestic Violence Awareness month and addressed what DVS is doing to support victims in Santa Barbara County.
“I am impressed by what DVS is doing in Santa Barbara County to end the cycle of domestic violence by providing awareness, and prevention and intervention services,” said Jones. “I will do all I can to help DVS raise awareness and funds to help support their mission.”
Jones shared stories of a friend and family member who were victims of abuse. She also discussed promoting healthy relationships and addressing the need to end the intergenerational cycle of domestic violence. In a segment from the Glee episode, “Choke,” the audience saw how Coach Beiste suffered abuse from her husband. Jones received an Emmy nomination for that episode and several letters from women saying how the episode helped them get out of an abusive relationship.
DVS raised funds at the luncheon, which will be used to support the organization’s programs and services such as a 24-hour crisis hotline, a trained 9-1-1 emergency response team, their shelters, counseling and support groups, and outreach and prevention programs. DVS has three emergency shelters (one in Santa Maria, one in Lompoc and one in Santa Barbara) where women and children can stay up to 45 days. Transitional housing programs are also available for women and children to stay in one and two bedroom apartments for up to 18 months. Last year, DVS provided shelter services to 403 women and children and responded to over 4,000 domestic violence crisis and information calls. Domestic Violence Solutions shelter staff accompanied law enforcement officials on 459 emergency call interventions.
“The lack of safe and affordable housing is one of the primary reasons women stay in abusive relationships,” said Charles Anderson, DVS Executive Director. “At DVS, we want victims to have access to housing where they can feel safe without having to stress about finances.”
DVS also offers group and individual therapy sessions for women and children. Age-appropriate therapy such as play therapy are used with young children and parenting classes are available to teach women how to communicate with and care for their children after experiencing or witnessing domestic abuse.
About Domestic Violence Solutions
Domestic Violence Solutions for Santa Barbara County works to end the intergenerational cycle of domestic violence by providing prevention and intervention services and by challenging society’s attitudes, beliefs and behaviors to effect social change. For more information, please visit www.dvsolutions.org.
One in three women and one in four men have been victims of physical violence by an intimate partner within their lifetime. Every 9 seconds in the U.S., a women is assaulted or beaten. October is Domestic Violence Prevention month.