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Our mission is to eliminate family violence, stalking, child abuse, and sexual assault through advocacy, education, counseling, support, and prevention services.
A Word from a Founding Mother
Our Vision is a world that values compassion, respect, responsibility, justice, and non-violence.
In 1980, Help-In-Crisis, Inc. had its beginnings as an idea in the minds and the hearts of many caring people in the Tahlequah area. There were mental health professionals, ministers, law enforcement officials, medical personnel, and other social service workers who had long seen the need for some form of organized, easily obtainable, 24-hour assistance for people in crisis.
Linda Axley and Gary Wedgewood began organizing meetings and brought together a forum of people who were interested in working on a crisis intervention program. At that time, the organization was called Crisis Intervention/Domestic Violence Intervention Project because the community determined that a crisis line was needed for people who were contemplating suicide, were acutely depressed, had drug and alcohol abuse problems, or who were being battered. Participants in the project were working toward providing emergency assistance to individuals in crisis at any time of the day or night.
In the fall of 1980, a Board of Directors with twelve members was formed, and the name Help-In-Crisis was officially chosen.
In the spring of 1981, Help-In-Crisis was ready to begin training volunteers to help with the crisis line and the transporting of women and children to shelters around the state. Help-In-Crisis obtained donated space from the Fire Department where volunteers handled calls from clients.
In May 1981, the Help-In-Crisis organization became one of the member programs of the Oklahoma Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault.
Throughout the years, the goals of Help-In-Crisis have remained the same; to provide quality crisis intervention services to Cherokee, Wagoner, Sequoyah, and Adair counties; to provide refuge for domestic violence victims and their children; to provide advocates for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault; to promote alternative thinking that would enable people to live without violence or fear; and to do all of this in a caring and calm manner. The staff is now more than 30 strong, and the program scope now includes Child Advocacy Centers in Sallisaw, Wagoner and Tahlequah, and Encore, a resale shop opened in 2009 to help support the financial needs of the agency.
Help-In-Crisis has been a member of the Oklahoma Coalition Against Domestic Violence since 1983.
Copyright © 2016, Help In Crisis
From its inception, Help-In-Crisis has been committed to the process of people helping themselves, especially through providing crisis intervention and support/referral services at a time when individual resources are low or even non-existent. In our rural community, we have chosen to direct our attentions and caring to women and children who live in violent home relationships, to those who experience sexual assault, and to those who are dealing with acute depression and have no one to listen.
We utilize the concepts of individual worth, self-determination, and interdependence as a foundation for our interactions with each other, our community, and with those who participate in our programs. We deliver our services with an emphasis on providing a confidential, immediate response.
We have several basic conclusions about battered women. One is that the battering of women is a social rather than an individual or family problem.
A second conclusion is that facilitating self-determination means actively involving participants of our program in the change process, and we believe that change is more effective if it is modeled, as well as taught.
A third conclusion is that an effective program listens to and learns from those involved at all levels; board, staff, volunteers, participants in the program, and the community at large. We encourage the blending of energies within and between each of these groups, and believe this is essential to the process of promoting community well-being and healing. We additionally work within larger networks of domestic violence and sexual assault programs in a non-competitive attitude toward fundraising.
Given the deeply ingrained societal attitudes that at least tacitly, if not overtly condone violence, we feel the public is in need of information to bring to light the magnitude of the problems of domestic violence and sexual assault in order to counteract the myths and misinformation to which we all have been exposed. We believe that community education and developing active concern are critical keys in breaking the cycle of violence and domestic abuse.
In our work of helping people help themselves, we also utilize a supportive, non-judgmental framework, which is geared to fostering independence, and optimizing each individual's strengths and abilities. We attempt to incorporate these qualities of caring and strength in our communities, to provide mutual support, and to ensure the continuation of our work.