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Bethany House Receives $30K Grant from ODVN

We’re proud to announce that Bethany House has received a $30,000 grant from the Ohio Domestic Violence Network, Ohio’s statewide coalition of which Bethany House is a member, to enhance our services for human trafficking survivors. 

This grant, part of a $1.8M initiative to expand capacity at domestic violence shelters across the state, was funded by the Ohio Department of Public Safety and the Ohio Office of Criminal Justice Services as a means to reduce housing barriers for human trafficking survivors.

When announcing this initiative in October 2023, Governor DeWine noted that a lack of emergency shelters for survivors is “one of the biggest gaps in Ohio’s human trafficking response” and that while “domestic violence shelters often try to meet this need, most don’t have room to help everyone.”

In the same announcement, ODVN Executive Director Mary O’Doherty remarked that this partnership will provide ODVN member programs with “the support and training they need to assist human trafficking survivors.”

In part, the funding will help educate domestic violence shelter employees on the intersections of human trafficking and intimate partner violence, which include:

Methods of Abuse: Power and control exist in domestic and sexual violence as well as trafficking. Victims are often subjected to physical, sexual, emotional, psychological and economic abuse as well as isolation.

  • Nearly 70% of female trafficking victims reported experiencing abuse before being trafficked. (1)
  • 94% of IPV victims have experienced some form of economic abuse. (2)
  • 79% of IPV victims have experienced some form of economic exploitation. (3)

Cycle of Violence: Traffickers, like abusers, use cyclical violence to control victims by making promises of love or a better life and by using shame and manipulation.

“Push Factor” & Continuum of Abuse: A “push factor” is something that makes people want to leave a place or escape from a particular situation. Domestic and sexual violence are often cited as “push factors” to trafficking, which becomes part of the continuum of abuse.

Trafficking by Intimate Partners & Family: Traffickers can be those closest to a victim, including their spouse, intimate partner or family member.

The importance of this initiative and the resulting grants cannot be overstated as federal and state funding for domestic violence organizations has seen a significant decline over the last several years.

Those of us directly involved in this work have long understood that intimate partner violence is directly connected to a host of other societal evils. We’re hopeful that cooperative initiatives like this become more prevalent so connected entities can further work to address gaps in prevention, victim services and prosecution.

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