JACKSON PARISH RURAL OFFICE
DART’s Jackson Parish office opened in Jonesboro in 2001. In 2013, Jackson Parish served a total of 107 individuals, providing protective orders, counseling, advocacy and support. Since the Jackson Parish DART office opened, a variety of services have been developed, including community education events, fundraisers, and public awareness campaigns. The Jackson Parish Rural Advocate, Andrea Malone, visits a satellite office in nearby Chatham once a week to provide outreach services for those families who may find it difficult to get to Jonesboro. Ms. Malone is supported by a Coordinated Community Response Team, a group of concerned citizens who act in an advisory capacity, assisting and facilitating the activities of that office.
Each year, the Jackson Parish DART office participates in a variety of events. One major fundraiser for DART is the annual Radiothon. The Rural Advocate and various volunteers sit in front of Wal-Mart in Jonesboro throughout the day and take donations. This provides them with an opportunity to explain DART’s services and get to know people in the community. Right before school starts, various people in the area donate school supplies to be given to children of the survivors served in Jackson Parish. In October, which is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month, the Jackson Parish office holds a Candlelight Vigil, where they remember the victims whose lives have been lost as a result of domestic violence. In December, the community comes together and participates in a Christmas Angel Tree. This ensures that each child served by DART will receive gifts for Christmas.
UNION PARISH RURAL OFFICE
The Union Parish DART Office opened in Farmerville in June, 2003, and began immediately to offer counseling, advocacy, help with protective orders, and other forms of support at that location. During 2013, 59 survivors and their children were served in Union Parish. The Union Parish DART Office maintains a very visible presence in the community. In addition to the Farmerville office, Rural Advocate Jackie Hill also operates a satellite office at the Town Hall in Bernice. This additional location affords DART the opportunity to be available to residents on the western side of the parish who would not be in a position to travel to the Farmerville office.
The Union Parish DART Office maintains an educational outreach liaison with the local elementary, junior high, and high school in Union Parish. This collaboration enables us to communicate with teachers and students about domestic and dating violence, as well as children’s issues such as bullying.
The highlight of the Union Parish office occurs during October, National Domestic Violence Awareness Month. The entire community pauses to honor the memory of those victims who have lost their lives to domestic violence. We are thankful for the many different ways in which The Union Parish office receives support and involvement from various groups and individuals within our community; however, the Candlelight Vigil remains our most poignant event.