Laurel Center expanding to help more domestic violence victims

October is domestic violence awareness month

WINCHESTER, Va. - The Laurel Center, which helps victims of domestic violence in Winchester, Frederick County, and Clarke County, says it has to turn some victims away because its current building is not large enough. The nonprofit says it houses about 150 women and children a year.

"We probably turn away at least half as many people as we house just for lack of space," said Lisa Herbaugh, domestic violence program coordinator for the Laurel Center.

That’s why the nonprofit is moving into a new 20,000 square foot space, which will have more bedrooms for victims, more office space and a larger kitchen and kids’ room.

The Laurel Center says its new home on North Cameron Street is in an ideal part of the city for the people it helps, with a bus line across the street and the social services building and free medical center nearby as well.

The Laurel Center hopes activities and fundraisers it has planned for October will bring more awareness to domestic violence prevention and help end cycles of abuse.

"Domestic violence awareness month is in October of every year. It's just so important so that the community really knows that that still is something, an issue we need to deal with," said Cindy Marzullo, development director for the Laurel Center.

"We are seeing some older victims, we're seeing more family violence. We're actually seeing less children as a result of seeing older victims," said Herbaugh.

The nonprofit says it also plans to hire more staff to help more people once it moves into the larger space, planned for early 2017.

The nonprofit says it typically sees more people in need of help during the winter, and says it is still in need of donations to help pay for its new center.

Here is a list of some of the center’s October events and fundraisers:

On October 3rd, The Laurel Center and Clarke County Parks and Recreation are hosting the 8th annual walk to end domestic violence at Chet Hobert Park in Berryville.  The two mile walk begins at 9 a.m.

On October 15 from 7 to 8 p.m. there will be a candlelight vigil on the back steps of the Joint Judicial Center in Winchester.  The vigil is held to remember victims of domestic violence and sexual assault, to honor and support survivors, and to recognize those who work to end the cycle of violence. 

On October 1st and October 28th, from 5 to 9 p.m, Sweet Frog Premium Frozen Yogurt on South Pleasant Valley Road will donate 20% of its proceeds to the Laurel Center. 

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