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PNS Daily Newscast - November 15, 2018 


Lawyer Michael Avenatti arrested on a domestic violence charge. Also on the Thursday rundown: More testimony on Ohio's "anti-protest" bill; and we'll take you to the Dakotas to celebrate American Education Week.

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Helping Domestic Violence Survivors Become Self-Sufficient

For more than a decade, the state's network of domestic violence shelters, including this one in Somerset, have banked on the Economic Empowerment Project to help survivors get back on their feet financially. (Bethany House)
For more than a decade, the state's network of domestic violence shelters, including this one in Somerset, have banked on the Economic Empowerment Project to help survivors get back on their feet financially. (Bethany House)
March 28, 2016

FRANKFORT, Ky. - Those who oversee Kentucky's network of 15 domestic violence shelters say once survivors have made it to a safe haven, the next big step is to help them get back on their feet financially. The help includes credit counseling and matched savings accounts.

Survivor Darla Pyles says she is "grateful" for all the assistance she has received since first going to Bethany House Abuse Shelter in Somerset two years ago.

For example, she saved $2,000 to buy a car, which was matched by the Car Individual Development Account program.

"It really helps, because not having wheels made it hard to go to the doctor and go to work," says Pyles. "I feel a lot better about everything, and if it weren't for that help, I probably still wouldn't have a car."

Pyles, a mother of three, now works and goes to school.

According to Katie French, communications coordinator for the Kentucky Coalition Against Domestic Violence, more than half of the funding for economic services comes from private and corporate foundations including the Allstate Foundation.

"Ninety-one percent of those dollars go toward direct project costs, so we really rely upon private and corporate foundations to keep our program running," says French. "And the Allstate Foundation has been with us since the beginning."

Over the past 11 years, the Foundation has given the state's domestic violence shelters more than $1 million.

French says last year alone, the Economic Empowerment Project helped 2,600 survivors move toward financial independence. Survivors also receive help preparing their income taxes, as well as Individual Development Accounts that enable them to save for everything from college to buying a house.

"And that's helped to build their credit," says French. "Looking at credit scores and creating a credit action plan are both important for our survivors to be able to purchase things like a vehicle or a home."

Greg Stotelmyer , Public News Service - KY