Title: Sexual and Physical Abuse Resource Center (SPARC) History and Documents
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00077458/00019
 Material Information
Title: Sexual and Physical Abuse Resource Center (SPARC) History and Documents
Physical Description: Archival
Creator: SPARC
Publisher: SPARC
Publication Date: 1989-90
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00077458
Volume ID: VID00019
Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.

Full Text

Sexual and Ptysical Abuse1 Resource Center (SPARC)

I. Hist.y f A.-.SPA C

The Sexual and Physical Abuse Resource Center (SPARC).has its
origins in the Rape Information and Counseling Service (RICS)
begun in 1974. RICS established a rape'hotline in 1974 and
soon began receiving phone calls from battered women. As
media coverage of spouse abuse increased, so did numbers of
calls RICS receive from victims of battering. In 1976, RICS
began to expand its services to include battered women,
providing many of the services to these victims that were
available to rape victims. It became obvious, however, that
victims of battering needed more than crisis counseling or
occasional shelter !in a volunteer's home.

In March, 1977, RICS gained three positions through the
Comprehensive Employment and Training Act (CETA) for a one-
year project con domestic violence. The project provided
counseling, information, referrals, victim advocacy, and
community education. Victims were referred to localiagencies
for shelter (Pleasant House, Salvation Army). However, these
were unsuitable for several reasons: Victims could stay for
only three to four days; they did not offer counseling or a
supportive atmosphere for women; and they housed transients
who created an unhealthy environment for children.

In September, 1977, a spouse abuse hotline, 377-TAL.K was
added and RICS changed its name to the Sexual and Physical
Abuse Resource Cent.er (SPARC) to reflect the organization's
broader mission. SPARC applied to lease the present shelter
site through the Regional Utilities Board and was chosen over
several other applicants in January, 1978. SPARC's
acceptance was facilitated by active display of community
support spearheaded by former board member, Lynda Dekold, and
S her husband, Don. The first victim was admitted on March 30,
I ,19 l78 with a dedication and ribbon-cutting ceremony. SPARC
/ \ became a charter meniber of the Refuge Information Network
(RIN) and was selected to send a delegate to represent the
Southeastern Region on the steering committee of the National
Coalition Against D::mestic Violence (NCADV). After over 11
years of service in September, 1989, the City of Gainesville
donated the shelter building and property to SPARC.

In 1979, SPARC applied for and wa4 granted state funding. As
a result, SPARC received an official mandate to provide
services to HRS District Three. At present, our funding
comes from Marriage License Fee Trust Fund, United Way of
Alachua and Columbia County, Alachua County, Federal Family
Violence Funds, Federal Emergency Grant, Grant-in-Aid, and
our own fundraising, The Marriage License Fee Trust Fund
monies a are administ red by HRS and we are mandated to serve
the eleven counties (Alachua, Bradford, Columbia, Dixie,

Gilchrist, Hamiltor
Union) of the HRS D

, Lafayette, Levy, Putnam, Suwannee, ,and
district IIIA.

SPARC's services have continued to expand. In addition to
our shelter 'we have an out--of-shelter program which includes
individual, group and batterer's counseling; a victim
advocacy programs and a children'" program. SPARC also
provides a 24 hour crisis hotline! information and referral,
agency in-service training, community education and a
volunteer training program. In 1985, SPARC opened an
outr ach office in Sainesville which houses the
coun eling and fundraising staff and the out-of-shelter
program. Having a public location helps keep SPARC's
services well known in the community. In the past SPARC has
developed a program for counseling batterers, an outreach
program and a program for counseling incarcerated victims. A
SPARC staff member -ecently served as an officer in the
Florida Coalition Against Domestic Violence and represented
the state of Florida on the steering committee of the I
National Coalition Against Domestic Violence. Another staff
member was chosen to serve as the state representative and
secretary/treasurer for the Southeastern Regional Women of
Color Task Force. JI

Community support f
the local TV station
the local United Wa'
ever increasing dem

:r SPARC continues to grow as evidenced by
i choosing SPARC for its holiday project,
A:'. increasing financial support and the
n:ds for SPARC's services.

11. Victims _Served

During the fiscal yaar 1989-1990 SPARC served 135 women, and
157 children, for ai total of 3,687 resident days. During the
same period, 367 units of case management, 5,530 units of
counseling, 256 units of victim advocacy and 137 units ,f
children's services,.

Through SPARC's hotline, 3,631 calls were received during
fiscal year 1989-1990. Information and referral was provided
3,581 times.

Community education sessions were provided 58 times for
20o,03 individuals during the course of fiscal year 11989-
1990. This figure includes the number of individuals who
were reached through television and radio presentations.
Volunteer training 'as provided three times during the year,
for a total of sixt hours. Law enforcement and professional
training was provided 57 times for 338 individuals;

III. UnigueNeeds BeO ing Met

SPARC is the only pr
Rehabilitative Servi
and purpose is to de

*ogram in the Department of Health and
ces Sub-District A whose primary concern
aal with the issues and problems of

domestic violence.
founded by communi
lack of resources
plays an important
needs of battered
by SPARC, victims
ignored by their c
battering out of t
violence in its pr
violence are a con
generates and dict
makes a major effo
which perpetuate si
educational and or

SPARC is a grassroots organization
ty residents who were concerned about the
For victims of domestic violence. SPARC
role in the community by identifying the
ommen and their children. Without advocacy
:f domestic violence would continue to be
:mmunities. SPARC bringsi the problem of
ce closet and places the issue ,of domestic
:sper perspective; victims of domestic
:ern for the greater society'which
rates acceptable forms of behavior. SPARC
-t to reassess and change the social values
.ch violence and continue to develop the
.ventive components of its nroorams.

IV. Qipertat i Qona l. F'ocedures !

The shelter and emergency hotline are covered on a 24-hour
basis by trained p id and volunteer staff. From 8:30 a.m. to
0(:00 p.m. trained paid and/or volunteer staff cover the
phones and are available to families in residence. At 10:00
p.m. the emergency hotline is call-forwarded to the home of a
trained volunteer who has a paid staff person available to.
her as a back-up. The Resident Manager or Weekend Shelter
Supervisor are responsible for responding to any emergencies
that may arise at he shelter between 10:00 p.m. and 8:30
a.m. lMonday throughI Friday and throughout the weekend.

Admissions to the s
risk, history ocr t1
alter native resour c
level Victims mut
and their children;
dr ug problem which
ocf alcohol or drug
prior to being adm3
victim herself is s

The shelter's 1 ocat
transported from a
adm i ssion. Under
a victim's home to
will contact -the ap
response to "abuse

Upon arrival at the
settle in, rest, an
inju ies. Basic pa
time of crisis) inc
demographics. Once
acclimated, within
case manager's goal
plan. The case man
systems and acts as

shelter are carefully screened to determine
great of abuse, availability of
es in friends and family, and functional
*t be able to take care of themselves
and must not have a serious alcohol or
would cause a medical emergency. In cases
abuse, victims are referred for deto>x
tted to the shelter. In every case, the
screened directly by phone.

ion is c:onfideItial and victims are
neutral location to the shelter upon
o circumstances will a staff person visit
intervene in a battering incident. SPARC
propriate law enforcement department in
in progress" at the victim's request.

shelter, victims are afforded 48 hours to
d in severe cases, recuperate from
perwork is completed at admission (often a
luding a release of liability, and vital
the victim has had a chance to -become
48 hours, a case manager is assignedr The
is to assist the woman in developing her
ager is knowledgeable about community
an advocate for the woman to attain her

own goals regarding
housing, etc.

The support group i
shel er. Group cou
battered women due
assure responsibili
down the deep seat
experienced by vict

Residents are expec
responsibi cities, n
are also encouraged
shelter operation,
the po 1icy formation

employment, c.ild care, legal needs,

s the primary counseling vehicle in the
nseling is especially effective with
to their extreme isolation and tendency to
ty for the battering. QPeer support breaks
d feelings of guilt and powerlessness
ims. '

ted to share in housekeeping
negotiated weekly at house meetings. They
to actively participate in overall
and their input is considered important in
n process. ,

A victim's length of stay is determined by her case plan,
which is reviewed weekly by the shelter staff. At departure
a follow-up contact! is arranged, and ongoing assistance
through individual or group counseling encouraged.

Victims who do not request shelter are referred to the
Outreach Office and may choose to attend a group or
individual counseling session on a first come-first served

SPARC offers a weekly "drop-in" group for battered womep in
the evening. SPFARC also offers a weekly morning time f Tr
individual victims who "drop-in."

v. Detai..led__esr-.iption of Services Provided

SPARC serves battered women and their children by developing
programs and services designed to alleviate battering and the
cycle of violence. 'SPARC's overall mission is to move beyond
crisis intervention and into the realm of social change.
Societal attitudes are deeply ingrained and tacitly condone
violence in the family and violent behavior toward women. By
challenging these attitudes, which appear in legal,
financial, educational, and health care arenas, SPARC hope to
eliminate family violence.

In light of SPARC's mission, the following services have been
provided in 1989-19 70

1. Twenty-four hout
trained, paid ai
intervention, cc

Hotline staffed by a combination of
nd volunteer staff who provide crisis
.unseling, information and referral;

Fifteen-bed emergency residential facility for
functional, adu t women and their dependent children;

3. Individual coun
v ic t i ms

;eling for in-shelter and out-of-shelter

4. Group counsel
vict i ms

ig for both in-shelter and out-of-shelter

Case advocacy, management and follow-up;

Emergency transportation;

7. Emergency food

8. Community education to professional groups, community
organizations, and academic classes;

9. In-service tra ning to cther community .agencies dealing
with the problems of family violence; and

10. Volunteer training in the theories, issues, and dynamics
of domestic violence as well as in skilled assistance
with all above-mentioned services.

VI. Staffing

At the end of the i
three full-time dir
Services Director,
Relations), onr 40
shelter supervisor
hour/week finance ia
coordinator, one r-
one relief supervi.
roster of 20-30 ac

VI I. Fundj ng


VIIi PLroram Need

Program needs are v
shelter residents i
location of the she
Volunteers used to
whenever possible b
SPARC Board to reco
Taxicabs are now us
being rehabilitated

fiscal year, SPARC's staff consisted of:
sectors (Administrative Directory Client
Director of Development and Community
hour/week case manager, one 40 hour/week
one 40 hour/week office manager, one 30
. manager one 2( hour/week volunteer
s.ident manager, one weekend supervisor and
or.,, In addition, SPARC has maintained a
ive volunteers throughout the year.




._ an ,d Goals

aried. Additional transportation for
s an ongoing need due to thh isolated
lter and the limited bus service.
assist SPARC residents with transportation
ut the risk of liability has caused the
nsider that transportation policy.
ed. The present shelter facility is now
and expanded with new kitchen, bedroom

and bathroom facilities which will expand shelter capacity
from 15 to 30 dur irg 1990-91.

Another identified goal is to increase outreach to the rural
communities in our service area. Efforts towards meeting
this goal are being continued.

Finally, a battereri's counseling group was .instituted in
cooperation with a private therapist. Additional work to
obtain court referrals to this group is an ongoing goal.

VIII. Other ..Progr._Ser;vin Victims of Domestic Violenc

There are no formally incorporated programs in our service
area of which we are aware, that are specifically designed to
serve victims of domestic violence., Of course, agencies or
services such as the Rape Victim Advocate Program, Crisis
Line, Information and Referral, AFDC Food Stamps, Displaced
Homemalkers, JTPA, Mental Health Associations, various
counseling centers and day-care centers provide ancillary
services for victims of domestic violence. SPARC continues
to work to develop services for batterers in the community,
and SPARC personnel are participating in a county-wide task
force to improve the legal system's response to the nee.is of
both victims and abusers.

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