The Rural Economic Security Initiative of The Massachusetts Rural Domestic and Sexual Violence Project recently put out a fantastic new resource guide for domestic violence survivors and advocates in rural Western Massachusetts. The guide, Economic Rights and Resources in Rural Western MA: Guides for Advocates working with Survivors can be accessed on line at http://economicsecurityforsurvivors.weebly.com/resource-guides.html.
This new resource was created to address a reality that survivors of domestic and sexual violence and their advocates have long known– that economic security is necessary for survivor safety. Abusers cut off victims’ access to money, education, and employment, making it harder for them to leave and leaving them few options when they do, a situation exacerbated in rural areas by isolation, lack of affordable transportation, and limited job opportunities.
In Massachusetts, where domestic violence is the leading cause of women’s homelessness, communities can no longer afford to treat violence and poverty as separate issues. Violence can jeopardize a person's economic well-being, leading to homelessness, unemployment, and interrupted education, while poverty increases the risks and intensifies the effects of violence. The Rural Economic Security Initiative aims to respond to the economic needs of survivors of domestic and sexual violence in rural western Massachusetts in order to build a safer, and stronger, community.
The PVPC facilitates both the Southern Hilltown and the Ware Regional Domestic Violence Task Force. Both these Task Forces participate in the Rural Economic Security Initiative and supported the development of this new resource guide. For more information contact Monica Moran, MSW, at MMoran@PVPC.org.