LANCASTER, Pa. (WHTM) – Domestic Violence Services (DVS) of Lancaster held a launch event Tuesday morning. Mayor Danene Sorace along with others are trying to put an end to domestic violence.
“I’m working to put us out of a job,” said Arrianna Dyson, the medical systems advocate for DVS.
It’s a goal Dyson has been chasing as she trains medical personnel to detect signs of domestic violence. Those signs are not always noticeable to the untrained eye.
DVS of Lancaster recently received $65,000 which will help fund its medical advocacy program and provide more resources.
“There was a patient who came in for a cavity. We do thousands and thousands of dental visits. When they were fixing the cavity they noticed something was off with the way her jaw was moving,” said Alisa Jones, the President and CEO of Union Community Care.
That allowed the dentist to think on their feet and find a way to get the patient’s partner out of the room and allow the woman to admit that she was being abused.
It’s not always physical harm that victims of domestic abuse face. Mental health barriers are in the way, too.
“We know that survivors of domestic violence are six times more likely to be suicidal,” said Dyson. “We know they are four times more likely to pick up a substance and form substance abuse habits.”
Domestic violence also affects friends and family of the victim causing a ripple effect.
“A colleague was coming into work exhausted because of the stress and worry about her family member being able to survive through the night,” said Mayor Sorace.
DVS Lancaster has a 24-hour hotline. You can call 717-299-1249 or text “SAFE” to 61222.