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West Jordan Journal

South Valley Services is here to help with domestic violence and safe shelter

May 30, 2022 06:12PM ● By Linda Steele

By Linda Steele l [email protected]

South Valley Service in West Jordan is a 501(c) (3) organization providing survivors and shelter of domestic violence.

South Valley Services has been serving the community since 1998 and started out as a grassroots effort. A group of professionals, community leaders and residents recognized there was a large need in the community. They recognized that survivors of domestic violence were having difficulty finding safety and accessible services to help them. They decided that a domestic violence shelter was of great importance for the safety of their community. On Feb. 10,1998, South Valley Services opened a safe shelter, referral services and programs for survivors of domestic violence. South Valley Services operates under a coordinated community that includes supportive services and shelter.

The vision of South Valley Services is to end family violence, one survivor at a time. South Valley Services stands out as a leader in the community, and its core values are social justice, dignity, acceptance, determination and empowerment for everyone.

The SVS mission statement is: “South Valley Services mission is to provide safe shelter, advocacy, case management,and prevention services to men, women and children experiencing psychological, physical, emotional economic or sexual abuse at home. We aim to empower individuals and communities through education to recognize their self-worth and to develop the necessary skills to reach their greatest potential contributing to the collective well-being of our community.”

South Valley Services provides supportive services 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Services include English and Spanish Translation available 24 hours a day. Services also include shelter, classes, children’s learning center, clinical therapy, community resource centers, and outreach and prevention.

The Prevention and Education Department offers a large range of programs to educate Utahns of all ages and backgrounds about domestic violence. The Prevention and Education staff members can provide programs for individuals, groups, companies, churches, classrooms, schools and any other business or functions to provide information about domestic violence.

South Valley Services has a helpful staff of educational directors. Lindsey Boyer is the agency’s new executive director.

“Lindsey Boyer comes to SVS with impressive qualifications, proven leadership and a wealth of experience in case management advocacy and prevention services,” says Jeff Stott, SVS board chair. Lindsey served more than eight years as the executive director of the DOVE Center, a sister domestic violence agency in St. George.

Prior to DOVE Center, Boyer worked at the Division of Child and Family Services with responsibilities in child welfare, case management and supervision. Boyer holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Brigham Young University and a master’s degree in mental health counseling from the University of Phoenix.

“I am perpetually inspired by the resilience and encourage survivors to discover within themselves while facing the many challenges that come with domestic abuse,” she said. “This work is incredibly important, and SVS is a critical service provider for the community. I feel it a privilege to provide services that support the path to healing.”

Mikaylee Gray is the prevention and education director for South Valley Services. She is over directing educational programs. Gray has an array of experience in educating the community. The programs include teen dating violence prevention presentation (designed for teens ages 12–18). This presentation is for classrooms (virtual), teen groups, church groups, etc. There is also the Domestic Violence 101 presentation (designed for adult groups). This presentation is for adults teaching the foundations of domestic violence and how to get help.

Boyer is working to educate the community to recognize how closely related domestic violence and sexual assault is.

“Seventy-five percent of women who experience domestic violence also experience sexual violence from their abuser as well,” Gray said. “One in six women in Utah will be raped in their lifetime. One in six men will have experienced abuse or sexual assault. These two forms of violence are closely related to each other. Generally, you don’t see one without the other. Part of what I am doing is recognizing that those two forms of violence are recognized. If we want to end domestic violence, we have to address stigmas and the lack of support there can be from a community with survivors of sexual violence as well. It is so important to recognize this. We have to put an end to this.”

Gray added more on this important subject.

“With people staying home because of the pandemic, the violence went up exponentially in Utah,” she said. “We know that many survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault suffer in silence; they don not disclose to people. With the numbers that we can see in Utah it is one in three individuals will either experience domestic or sexual violence. Our neighbors, employers, people we go to school with, there is a high probability that some of these people have experienced domestic or sexual violence. We have to do our job as a community and support them to end that violence. It’s not something organizations like SVS can do without community support. When we have the community interested in its causes and awareness events our representatives know this, our legislators know this, and they are able to create policy and bills, then introduce this to our government because they see this out in the community. We have to show them this is something we are interested in for a better support system to do the work to introduce those bills and policies.”

Gray explained her goals with the program.

“I want to create a space in the communities that allows for survivors of these kinds of violence to know they are supported, seen, heard and that they are cared for,” she said. “I believe that working toward creating those communities will also work for ending violence. But the first step is giving survivors a space to be heard and for them to know it is okay to talk about. That means making a lot of people uncomfortable in the process of having these conversations. I want all these survivors to be heard, and get help knowing there is a space for them to exit after they have this attack.”

April is Sexual Assault Awareness month to help the community be aware and promote the safety to the survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault. This event happens every April.

Corporate Breakfast 22 is an event that South Valley Services is proud to announce. It is its premier corporate partnership event. The event is to connect local business community with the cause of domestic violence. SVS is excited to offer this opportunity for employers and corporations to take a stand against domestic violence. The event will help raise funds to provide shelter and support services to survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault.