Between 1999 and 2010, a total of 1,693 people in Virginia lost their lives to domestic and dating violence, according to Attorney General Kenneth R. Cuccinelli’s 2012 Annual Report on Domestic and Sexual Violence in Virginia.

And, while the 2010 numbers represent a slight decrease when compared with previous years, Cuccinelli believes the number of victims in Virginia is grossly underestimated.

While we sometimes hear about the tragic consequences of these crimes on the news, cases of domestic and sexual violence are often underreported for various reasons: a mother who fears her children will be taken away if she reports the bruises and broken bones she suffers at the hands of her husband, an elderly man who feels he has no alternative than to be physically abused by the only caretaker he knows, or a young woman who fears social backlash if she reports the sexual assault by a fellow student,” said Cuccinelli.

Locally, the Women’s Resource Center of the New River Valley, located in Radford, is working to help the victims of such abuse and educate the general public. Virginia Tech employees are helping make it possible through generous donations of time and money.

In 2012, 93 Virginia Tech employees donated more than $11,000 to the Women’s Resource Center of the New River Valley through the annual Commonwealth of Virginia Campaign (CVC).

Woman crying

In addition to providing a free shelter for women and children fleeing domestic abuse, the center also provides counseling and advocacy to adult and child victims. Their educational programs include dating violence and date rape prevention for middle and high school students and presentations to civic and church groups and university classes. Additionally, they host workshops throughout the year to train community members on the issues of domestic violence and sexual assault.

“I really was astonished that they had so much going on - much more than the hotline - that I never knew about it, said Latanya Walker, director of alumni relations for diversity, inclusion, and community engagement, who gives to the center through the CVC. “I know that my money is going to be used well,” said Walker. “And, I know every bit of support I can give will make a difference.”

Lynn Young, director of alumni relations for the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine regular donates to Big Brothers/Big Sisters and the Women’s Resource Center.

“Both of these organizations need the funds to support their programs,” said Young. “Being involved with these organizations has really changed my perception of the needs of the individuals receiving the services.”

Volunteers and donations, like those made by Virginia Tech employees, are vital to the success of the center, according to Executive Director Pat Brown.

“The funds that are gathered lay the foundation and groundwork for the real work that done at the center,” said Brown. “And, it all contributes to creating a better community.”

 “By changing one community at a time, you can change the world,” said Brown.

Please consider donating to any of the 1,000 charities participating in this year’s Commonwealth of Virginia Campaign. The online CVC Pledge System enables salaried Virginia Tech employees to make fast, easy, and secure donations via payroll deduction. All donations are tax deductible, as allowed by law.

First published on December 03, 2013.

Written by Employee Communications Manager Laura Neff-Henderson.