The Center for Women and Families will launch its 11th annual Shop and Share on Saturday, asking local shoppers to buy supplies for domestic violence victims.
More than a hundred volunteers will go to partnering grocery stores across Kentucky for the initiative. Donors across the state gave domestic violence shelters $590,000 in supplies last year; donations in Jefferson, Bullitt, Oldham and Shelby counties go to the Center for Women and Families.
“Last year we raised approximately $53,000 in goods. I would love to see that reach $55,000,” said President and CEO Elizabeth Wessels-Martin. “We also get monetary donations … people will say, ‘Can I give you $20, and you get what you need?’ Absolutely.”
First Lady Jane Beshear launched Shop and Share 12 years ago, aiming to support domestic violence victims who often arrive at shelters without basic supplies. Wessels-Martin said they serve thousands of victims every year, and many escape abuse with their young children. That leads to a steady demand for diapers, hygiene products and food. But Wessels-Martin said the Saturday before the Super Bowl is one of the year’s most popular shopping days, making it a good time for the center to request donations.
Wessels-Martin said the center also sees an increase in domestic violence incidents during Super Bowl and the week after, though other research has debunked the idea that Super Bowl Sunday is more dangerous than other special event days for domestic violence victims.
“The night of, the Monday — the Tuesday after, [the Domestic Violence Intake Center’s] numbers really spike for individuals coming in and taking out emergency protective orders,” Wessels-Martin said. “There’s a lot of drinking involved, there’s a lot of gambling involved, and all those mix together can lead to physical assaults.”