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Center for Women and Families finds home in Bullitt County

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By Mallory Bilger

SHEPHERDSVILLE ee" Soon victims of domestic violence and abuse will have a safe place to seek help and guidance in Bullitt County.

In a county where domestic violence incidents rose 40 percent this year, the initiative cannot come soon enough for some.

The Bullitt County Woman’s Club, along with St. Aloysius Catholic Church and other community partners, recently banded together to form the community’s first-ever Bullitt County Center for Women and Families.

The initiative is being led by the newly formed BCCWF advisory board, which consists of St. Aloysius advancement director Tom Chamberlain, Woman’s Club president Jackie Allgeier, treasurer Tammy Ott and secretary Trina Summers.

Allgeier said the General Federation of Woman’s Clubs has taken on the initiative to battle domestic violence across the nation and world. Creating a Center for Women and Families in Bullitt County seemed like a good answer to that challenge.

“We’ve never had a signature project,” Allgeier said of the woman’s club. “We’re just starting to explore what we can do in this county. We’re still working on a plan.”

But many ideas have already turned to action. Chamberlain said St. Aloysius donated a home in the Shepherdsville area to house the center, which will eventually be open five days a week.

The center will provide a location for private counseling, group therapy, children’s therapy and will have free information available to anyone affected by abuse and domestic violence issues.

The advisory committee’s goal is to have the center open by June 1.

Chamberlain said there is already an obvious need for a Bullitt County location.

According to the Center for Women and Families’ services report for fiscal year 2007-2008, 188 Bullitt county residents utilized services offered by the center. The center also provided public education programs that reached 1,289 county residents.

Eventually, Chamberlain said the organization hopes to operate a temporary shelter and purchase safe houses for families escaping abusive situations.

“We have an animal shelter here in the county but not a woman’s shelter,” Chamberlain said. “It’s really a shame that our community leaders haven’t stepped up to do this already.”