By JESSICA CRAWFORD
• Daily Leader
Domestic violence doesn’t stop just because the holidays are upon us. Hope Alvarez of Liberal Area Rape Crisis and Domestic Violence Services graciously accepted a donation Thursday morning to specifically help those in need of services right here in Liberal.
Mike Scott, Director of External Affairs for AT&T Kansas presented Alvarez with the donation in honor of State Representative Carl Holmes and wife, Willynda.
Scott was on hand for a ribbon cutting on the new AT&T business on Tucker Road.
“We are here to make an announcement from AT&T that we are going to contribute $5,000 to Hope’s organization,” Scott said. “We are going to do that in the name of Carl and Willynda Holmes. They are big supporters of Hope’s group.”
Alvarez was thankful for the donation and expressed the dedication the Holmes’ have shown to her cause.
“I really would like to thank Representative Holmes and Willynda because this is something that is dear to my heart and is dear to theirs,” Alvarez said. “They are one of our supporters in Topeka. Every year, I go and knock on his door and kind of plead my cause, he is always a gentleman and listens. I know he does the best he can for us.
“Thank you so much, and thank you for recommending our agency for this because we definitely need money for our victims,” she continued. “With cutting of funding and grants, every little bit helps.”
Alvarez gave those in attendance a brief overview of the devastation domestic violence actually causes.
“One of 10 adult women in Kansas report domestic violence, which includes isolation, emotional, verbal, sexual, physical abuse as well as financial abuse and control,” she said. “Sexual and domestic violence enters our work places, our churches and our schools. It destroys families, devastates communities, survivors fill our emergency rooms, our shelters and the cost of doing nothing is very high.
“The KBI reports that 35 adults and 14 children lost their lives as a result of domestic violence in 2009 – 14 children,” she added. “That is unacceptable, we cannot allow this to happen. The 2010 statistics are just as staggering. With preliminary numbers, 20 adults and six children through the month of August have died. And it will get worse – I guarantee you. So, the support from AT&T will allow us to provide services to more victims.”