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Greene County Middle Way House, Inc., will host a Mardi Gras-themed fundraiser Feb. 23

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

The Greene County Middle Way House, Inc., will host a Mardi Gras-themed fundraiser Saturday, Feb. 23.

In order to help generate funds needed to keep the organization in the community, Middle Way House is seeking sponsorships and silent auction items.

The event will take place at the Pepperoni Grill, and the entry fee of $10 per individual and $15 per couple will cover the drawing entry and hors d'oeuvres.

Drinks and food will be available to purchase on the Pepperoni Grill menu.

Middle Way House Victim's Advocate Jeanette Walker said silent auction items so far include gift certificates, candles and primitive items.

She added sponsorships are usually monetary donations made to cover the cost of food items or entertainment.

These funds are needed to keep the Bloomfield and Jasonville offices open to continue their mission of "Ending violence against women."

"We serve so many clients, and we don't charge for our services," Walker explained.

Walker and Victim's Advocate Christa Turpin are the only two advocates in the county.

In 2012, 246 women utilized the Middle Way House.

"Most often, it is a violent episode that brings them to us. Sometimes, it can be they are ready to leave their situation, but usually it's after a violent episode," Walker said.

Some women come to the Middle Way House seeking help on their own, but most of the time the women in need of help are referred by the prosecutor's office, Department of Child Services, law enforcement or the hospital.

Middle Way House offers psycho-educational support, personal advocacy, legal advocacy, criminal justice support, and empowerment skills.

Walker said often times the first step is to educate the women in need on what exactly is classified as domestic violence or sexual assault.

Many women do not know what is next when seeking to make the change from violent situations. Walker said Middle Way House will guide women through the legal actions of dissolution of marriage or filing a protective order.

"Most importantly, we make sure they have a safety plan in place, and make sure they aren't in danger any longer," Walker stressed. "We try to give them the tools and figure out where to start."

The Victim's Advocates also are proactive in their efforts by visiting local schools and educating grades 7 and 10 about healthy relationships, as well as gender roles and stereotypes.

To donate to the fundraising event or to pre-order tickets, call Walker or Turpin at (812) 384-8769, or via email at pwt682004@yahoo.com .

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