The Crisis Center for Domestic Abuse and Sexual Assault has officially changed its name to “The Bridge.” Representatives say the new name more accurately reflects the range of services provided to individuals in the five counties – Burt, Cuming, Dodge, Saunders, and Washington – it serves.
“Our organization has been around since 1981,” said Suzanne Smith, Executive Director, “and until a few years ago, we focused mostly on providing crisis intervention services.
“But research has shown that prevention and early intervention efforts are effective in reducing domestic violence and abusive behavior, so we’ve expanded our services to provide more prevention programming.”
The Bridge has developed programming to work with youth about bullying, healthy/unhealthy relationships, internet/texting safety, sexual respect, conflict resolution and dangers of social media.
Bullying and adolescent suicide attempts have become alarmingly high and parents, school officials and the community have reached out for additional support and partnerships to help address these issues.
Requests for youth prevention services have increased 300%. In 2012, staff gave 383 presentations to nearly 7,000 individuals. 335 of those presentations were to youth in classrooms.
Smith says the need for crisis intervention still exists. Over the past five years, they have seen an 82 percent increase in the number of individuals seeking services, and that number continues to climb. In 2012, advocates worked with an average of 124 individuals per month. In September 2013, they worked with 179.
“The staff continues to work with individuals and provide crisis intervention – helping them look at options and resources, and to support and help them through their crisis – but we’re doing so much more that we felt it was time for a name change that truly captures the work that we are doing,” said Rick Spalding, Board President.
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