This has been a good year for the Crisis Resource Center of Southeast  Kansas, but also a bad year.

This has been a good year for the Crisis Resource Center of Southeast  Kansas, but also a bad year.

“This has been a good year because it’s our 30th anniversary year,” said Rebecca Reedy, executive director of the non-profit agency which aids victims of domestic violence. “It’s been a bad year because of the bad economy. Our contributions are down by about half, and our fundraisers are bringing in about half of what they did a year ago.”

Another blow was the March 6 fire that destroyed the agency’s shelter for domestic violence victims in Coffeyville.

“We were down there for 2 1/2 months and had 40 victims during that time,” Reedy said. “We offered to bring some of them to our other shelter here in Pittsburg, but many were unable to leave the Coffeyville area for various reasons.”

A temporary shelter is now operating in Coffeyville. “We’re working to secure a permanent place and looking at grants and funding,” Reedy said. “Unfortunately, we’ve lost some state funding because we don’t have a permanent shelter in Coffeyville.”

She said the agency has had to trim its budget. “We’re performing the same amount of services with less staff,” Reedy said. “We’re trying not to cut services for victims.”

The agency may be low on funds, but there’s been no decrease in the number of domestic violence victims seeking help. In fact, the rate of domestic violence seems to increase during bad economic times.

“I don’t have the statistics, but yes, we have seen an increase  in victims,” Reedy said.

Even before this year, though, one in every 10 Kansas women has been a victim of domestic violence.

“Domestic violence is the third largest cause of health problems in Kansas women,” Reedy  said.

Each of the two shelters usually help about 150 domestic violence victims each year. In addition, Crisis Resource Center has domestic and sexual violence advocates in 11 southeast Kansas counties, provides crisis intervention services 24/7, has referral services to direct victims to other programs and agencies such as legal services, adult education and work training and drug and alcohol addiction programs.

Other services include emergency transportation and assistance to victims who are choosing to reestablish households.

“Another service that I’m excited about is our Child Exchange and Visitation Center, a safe, neutral and monitored child-friendly environment that families or caregivers can use to exchange their children between residential and non-residential parents or caregivers,” Reedy said.

While the majority of domestic violence victims are women, there are also male victims as well. “Many people don’t realize that we also have services available for men,” Reedy said.

Crawford County residents have been supportive of the Crisis Resource Center, originally called Safehouse, in its 30 years.

“We are so grateful for the support of Crawford County,”  Reedy said. “We receive United Way funding that goes to support the shelter in Pittsburg, and we have donors who provide supplies and food to the shelter here. Financial contributions are what we need most.”

Next benefit for the agency will be a flapjack fundraiser from 8 to 10 a.m. Saturday at Applebee’s. Tickets are $5 for pancakes and beverage. Tickets may be purchased in advance or at the door. Anyone needing information may call 231-8692.

Reedy grew up in Labette County and attended Kansas State University. She has lived in Pittsburg since the 1980s. She worked for Social and Rehabilitation Services for several years, but became  involved with the Crisis Resource Center following a personal tragedy.

“I lost my daughter to domestic violence in 2000,” Reedy said. “I first connected with this agency to help work through the pain. Then I served on the board of directors for three years, and became executive director in 2007."

She noted that domestic violence impacts not only the victim, but the victim’s family and loved ones as well.

“I want to prevent what happened to my daughter from happening to other women and families,” Reedy said. “My work is really fulfilling. We are providing women with an alternative to a life of violence.”