MIDDLE WAY HOUSE MEETING 30th of July 2015
During this summer, I traveled to the United States and I stayed a while in Bloomington, Indiana. The city of Bloomington is the seat of Monroe County in southern Indiana. The population is around 80,000 and this city is the home to Indiana University Bloomington (the largest campus in IN) which has more than 40,000 students. As I’m working on domestic violence in France, I thought it would be nice to visit a nonprofit center which helps women in the US. I was interested to find out that they have more shelters in this town than in Strasbourg, France which has a population of 275,000.
I had the chance to visit one of these centers: Middle Way House (MWH). This organization seeks to end violence in the lives of women and children by implementing or sponsoring activities and programs aimed at achieving individual and social change. It offers many services to women and children who are victims of domestic violence and sexual assault, namely crisis intervention, emergency and transitional housing, support services, legal advocacy, child care, economic development activities, and community outreach.
Evelyn Smith who is the Prevention Programs Coordinator at MWH agreed to an interview to present how MWH shelters and programs operate. She works in the field of sexual and domestic violence prevention and provides crisis intervention to survivors of such violence. The goal of Evelyn and her team is to develop better practices in prevention education and community development and later implement them. MWH is one of six National Domestic Violence Model programs. In Bloomington, they are the primary service provider related to domestic violence. Every shelter has different organizations among the different states. This article is a concrete illustration of existing practices.