With October being Domestic Violence Awareness Month, The Retreat is particularly grateful for two recent grants it received that will go toward work the East Hampton-based agency does with those impacted by violence at home.
Earlier this month, the Mary Kay Foundation awarded $3 million in grants to 150 domestic violence shelters across the country and in Puerto Rico, and The Retreat received a $20,000 grant.
The money will help provide services for victims of domestic violence, including the 150 women and children housed at The Retreat's shelter every year.
“We are honored that our shelter has been chosen by The Mary Kay Foundation. This grant will be used to support the critical and life-saving services that are provided to victims of domestic violence who are on the path to long-term safety, security and independence,” said Minerva Perez, the shelter director.
The Mary Kay Foundation's annual shelter grant program has given out $34 million to domestic violence organizations since 2000.
In September, The Retreat also received $50,000 from the state that is to be used in responding to domestic violence locally.
The funds will be used for advocacy activities, such as helping battered women understand their rights, accompanying victims to court to pursue orders of protection for themselves and their children, and connecting survivors of domestic violence to an extensive array of needed services, The Retreat said in a statement.
State Sen. Kenneth P. LaValle, R-Port Jefferson, helped secure the funding.
“The work of Senator LaValle—and his willingness to prioritize the needs of survivors of domestic violence here on the East End—is unduplicated and extraordinarily important,” Jeffrey Friedman, the outgoing executive director of The Retreat, said. “What this means in real terms is that a woman who has fled a partner that has been harming her, will get the legal and emotional support that she needs to establish a long-term plan for safety and independence from violence.”
Last year, The Retreat responded to nearly 3,200 hotline phone calls.