There are many forms of violence that are present within our society. Whether it may take place in a public setting, on the street, or in the presence of the home, victims are left to battle the repercussions of violence or abuse. One type of violence that is not talked about enough is domestic violence. This is a form of abuse that occurs within the home in which a perpetrator, in order to gain power, controls aspects of a victim’s life and/or carries out physical abuse. In this case, violence can make it extremely difficult for the victim to establish a safe living environment. Across the world, there are various shelters that have been created to aid the victims of domestic violence to not only escape their abuser but also create a safer environment for themselves and their families. This also happens to be the primary goal of The Oasis Women’s Center in Alton, Illinois. Marcy Jacobs, a representative and active staff member at the center presented a very informative presentation to the RiverBend Growth Association Young Adults Committee about the prevalence of domestic violence. She provided handouts that went into more detail about the signs of unhealthy relationships as well as more information regarding the differences between violence and nonviolence. According to the statistics she gave, sourced from the FBI, “Someone is battered by their intimate partner once every nine seconds.” Marcy went on to explain that about thirty percent of all women are affected by domestic violence to some extent in their everyday relationships. The Oasis Women’s Center combats this issue by providing a safe space and many other resources for those abused in their homes or in other places.

There are many ways you can give back and contribute your time to the Oasis Women’s Center. One way you could offer your assistance is by volunteering for the organization in your free time. However, if you are not able to volunteer, the Women’s Oasis Center accepts donations such as cash, clothing, and supplies. Although used clothing is not accepted, new clothing and money donations are greatly needed and much appreciated. With more volunteers and resources, the Oasis Women’s Center will be able to continue to help those in need of their services.

About the authors:

Allie Lively is a senior at Civic Memorial High School. Besides being an active member of the RiverBend Growth Association Young Adults Committee, she is involved in student council and holds several leadership positions in her school including Vice President of her class, NHS president, and Spanish NHS secretary. In her free time, she enjoys playing tennis, making mugs, crocheting, playing guitar with her band, and giving back to her community and school.

Kennedy Bickmore is a senior at Civic Memorial High School and has been a member of the RiverBend Growth Association Young Adults Committee for two years. Kennedy is involved in many other extracurriculars as well including Student Council, FreshMentors, ENCO, Spanish Club, Science Club, and Varsity Cheerleading. She holds many officer positions at Civic Memorial which include President of her class, Student Council President, National Honor Society Vice President, and Spanish National Honor Society Historian. After graduation, Kennedy plans to attend the University of Missouri to study Nuclear Medicine.

Reaghan Williams has been a part of the RiverBend Growth Association Young Adults Committee for two years now while attending East Alton-Wood River Community High School. She devotes a lot of her time to various extracurricular activities which include volleyball, Student Council, Peer Leadership, Big Sisters, National Honor Society, and she also managed the Boys Basketball team. After graduation Reaghan plans on attending Illinois State University to major in Biology to pursue a career in orthodontics.

Addison Denton is a senior at East Alton-Wood River Community High School and has been an active member in the RiverBend Growth Association for two years. While being a student at EAWR, she has also participated in many extracurricular activities such as band, tennis, basketball, student council, peer leadership, big sisters, National Honor Society, and drama club. She has gained many leadership opportunities in these organizations like being the secretary of the student council, a representative for big sisters, and becoming an International Thespian Society member. After graduating, Addison plans on attending Illinois State University to major in biology.

Mary Nguyen is a junior attending East-Alton Wood River High School who is a first-year member of the RiverBend Growth Association Young Adults Committee. This year, Mary currently participates in many sports including volleyball, cheerleading, soccer, and track, and has also participated in scholar bowl and cross country in previous years.  She also is involved in Peer Leadership, Drama Club, National Honor Society, Big Sisters, and is the social media manager of Student Council.  After graduation, Mary intends to major in chemical engineering at an undecided college.

Mia Seibert is a junior at East Alton-Wood River and has been an active member of the RiverBend Growth Association for one year. During high school, Mia has been involved in Band, Varsity Cheerleading, National Honors Society, and Big Sisters. After graduation, she plans to attend an undecided college to pursue a career in athletic training.