The Shelter Makes Small Changes To Fix Big Problems

9 years 4 weeks 9 hours ago Wednesday, July 21 2010 Jul 21, 2010 Wednesday, July 21, 2010 11:04:36 AM CDT July 21, 2010 in News

It's a new name -- the Shelter is now called True North. Executive Director Barbara Hodges said this is to improve the organization's visibility and image with the public.

"We've known for a while that when you say ' the Shelter,' it is defined a certain way," said Hodges. 

In addition to the name change, Hodges said True North will increase public education on domestic abuse and sexual assault.

People hesitate to report domestic abuse. "There's still a trend of trying to keep it within the family," said Cpt. Stephen Monticelli, Investigative Commander for the Columbia Police Department. "That's a constant fight."

Monticelli said early detection is vital to stopping the cycle of abuse.

"We ask the public that if they hear an incident or know of a victim, to report it to the police department, " said Monticelli, "The whole idea is to get to these situations early on. To get to these victims of domestic violence to let them know that there's help out there."

Hodges said the increased awareness of domestic abuse and sexual assault in the community will hopefully lead to more people getting help.

As the new face of domestic abuse prevention in Mid-Missouri, supporters have high expectations.

"We want to be the model for the whole state," said Hodges.

Hodges said, like the Shelter, True North is always looking for volunteers and donations.  The service is mostly supported by city, county and state grants, plus United Way allocations.

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