DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN)– Governor Mike DeWine announced over $3.6 million in grants to nonprofits to reduce violence against women. A total of 143 grants were awarded to 101 agencies across Ohio, Dayton’s YWCA is among the recipients.

While the holidays may be a joyous time for most, for survivors of domestic abuse the holidays can be a dangerous time, especially if children are involved. The YWCA says receiving thousands of dollars from the Violence Against Women Act came in the right time to provide safe homes.

“We know this is a really difficult time of year for normal circumstances but this year we are still in a global pandemic,” said Director of Communications Audrey Starr.

YWCA of Dayton is the only domestic violence shelter in both Montgomery and Preble counties and is at full capacity right now sheltering 75 families heading into the holiday season. However, they expect calls for help will spike starting in January.

“The holidays can be very hard for people going through trauma in multiple ways,” said Starr. “It can be harder to leave, we see a lot of survivors who will actually wait until the holiday season is over to reach out or make that first, second, third attempt to leave, especially if they have children.”

The YWCA received over $60,000 from DeWine’s Violence Against Women Act grant to afford housing supplies, staff, transportation need and most of all, holiday celebrations for sheltered victims.

“As much as possible, we try to still have those moments of joy and celebration even though we know it’s still very difficult when you’re healing from trauma,” said Starr.

Starr says their long list of partners ensures no families are left without sheltering options. Overall, the holidays on top of the pandemic have created a dangerous situation for domestic abuse victims.

“All of that combined creates this need for additional resources and additional services,” said Starr.

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