The Junior League of Owensboro is kicking off its mission to strengthen women’s empowerment this year with a creative fundraising campaign to support women and children in Daviess County who have been victims of domestic violence. Dubbed the “Little Black Dress Initiative," the week-long campaign will harness the power of social media to educate people in the local community about domestic violence.

“It is a fact that 1 in 3 women in the US are victims of physical violence by an intimate partner in their lifetime,” said Stacey Davis, president of the local Junior League chapter. “Nationwide, 1 in 15 children are exposed to intimate partner violence, and the vast majority of them are eyewitnesses to that violence. And it happens here in Daviess County, too. Our goal in this campaign is to call local attention to this issue.”

To create awareness for the Little Black Dress Initiative, Junior League members will wear the same black dress for five consecutive days, October 21-25, to illustrate the trauma and devastation that afflict women and children caught in the cycle of domestic violence. During the campaign, League members will use their personal social media platforms and email to post a picture of their dress each day, along with local information about the issue of domestic violence and a link to the campaign site where supporters can make donations.
“Every dollar raised through the Little Black Dress Initiative will go to fund resources and programs at OASIS Shelter, our local organization offering safety and recovery programs for battered women and their dependent children,” said Davis. “We truly believe that this campaign will help to change lives, and we are excited about the positive results it can generate here in our own community

Local Domestic Violence Statistics:
OASIS opened in December 1981 with only two rooms available to women and their children escaping domestic violence. • Today, OASIS has 60 beds available for residents and often operates at or above capacity. As an emergency shelter, they do not turn away anyone seeking refuge, even if the shelter is full; they pull out cots and rollaway beds as needed to ensure everyone has a safe place. In the past several months, OASIS frequently housed about 75 residents. • OASIS Shelter serves 7 counties in Western Kentucky (Daviess, Henderson, McLean, Ohio, Hancock, Union, and Webster), and their largest population of clients comes from Daviess County. • In 2018 Kentucky domestic violence shelters housed 4,339 residents, and 668 of those were at OASIS (more than 15%). • OASIS is the second largest domestic violence shelter in Kentucky and served nearly 2,000 victims in 2018 in both residential and non-residential programs. • In 2018, female residents at OASIS spent an average of 51 nights at the shelter. • In 2018, OASIS provided 22,308 shelter nights to 434 victims; and they provided 22,629 non-residential services to 1,123 clients. • OASIS is open 24/7 for victims seeking refuge and operates a high-security facility to ensure the safety of their residents. • OASIS provides both residential and non-residential services to domestic violence victims in 7 counties with a staff of only 40 people, plus volunteers. • OASIS is currently working to improve services to male victims (97 services provided to men in the past year), LGBTQ victims (132 services provided based on self-reporting), and the immigrant population. • OASIS is the first violence shelter in the state to incorporate substance abuse treatment. • OASIS is currently working on a Batterers Intervention Program with the local police department, to hold offenders accountable and provide offenders with the opportunity and skills to change the behaviors, beliefs, and attitudes that support their use of violence against intimate partners. • Last year there were 29 reported deaths in Kentucky due to domestic violence: 25 women and 4 men; 27 of these deaths were Daviess County residents. OASIS holds a candlelight vigil every year on October 1 (start of Domestic Violence Awareness Month) in remembrance of these victims and all those who have lost their lives to domestic violence.

To donate to the cause click here.