By Jody Kerzman
Give us a little history about the Abused Adult Resource Center.
The Abused Adult Resource Center (AARC) began as a citizen’s task force in 1976 under the name Abused Women’s Resource Closet. In March 1977, the Region VII Community Action Program and the Mental Health Association of North Dakota sponsored a CETA Project to establish a program of direct services to adult victims of domestic violence. The Abused Women’s Resource Closet became the Abused Adult Resource Center in January 1984.
Who do you help?
Founded in 1976, the Abused Adult Resource Center serves victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. We are located in Bismarck but we serve seven counties – Burleigh, Morton, Grant, Sioux, Emmons, Kidder, and Sheridan. We provide emergency support, crisis intervention, temporary shelter, food, counseling, and advocacy to victims. We work with our clients and their children to help them find a life free from abuse. We also work with the community to develop an awareness and sensitivity to the issues of domestic violence and sexual assault and to establish programs to break the cycle of abuse.
What services do you offer?
We own and operate the Seeds of Hope Thrift Store at 520 E. Main Avenue, which serves us in several ways. Through donations and resale, the store provides about 26 percent of our operational revenue. It provides clothing and other items for victims moving into a home of their own. It serves as a training ground for victims who want to enter the retail or other job market. And finally it provides employment for people in the community.
How are you different from other agencies like yours?
We are different because we are the only nonprofit in this seven-county area providing shelter and support services for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. The North Dakota Health Department designates service areas for each of the domestic violence nonprofits in the state, and these seven counties represent our service area. Also, we serve a portion of the Standing Rock Indian Reservation, and, through our rural outreach program, we maintain an office at Fort Yates and send two outreach advocates there several times a week. Typically, half of the victims in our shelters are Native Americans and about a third of the clients our advocates serve are Native American. In 2014, we served 1,186 new victims of domestic violence in cases affecting 1,437 children. We also served 146 new victims of sexual assault. Our two shelters safely sheltered 173 families, including 126 children.
How can people contact you for help?
To get help, victims can contact us 24-hours a day, seven days a week at this toll-free number: 1-866-341-7009.
How can people donate to your organization?
People can donate several ways. They can send donations to AARC, PO Box 5003, Bismarck, ND 58502. They can donate through our website at www.abusedadultresourcecenter.com. They can call our office at 222-8370 and donate by credit card. Or they can stop at our offices at 218 W. Broadway in Bismarck.
What are your needs right now if someone would like to donate?
Following are the needs of the families at our two shelters:
- Underwear and socks sizes 5-12
- Personal hygiene items
- Hair brushes
- Shaving cream
- Cleaning products
- Bath towels
- Hand towels
- Wash cloths
- Washable throw rugs (red/burgundy/green
- Phone cards
- Gift cards to get essentials
- Vehicle maintenance: Oil changes, tune-ups and gas vouchers
- Durable toys (infant to teenager)
- Tonka trucks
- Army men
- Barbie dolls
- Play food/kitchen items
- Baby dolls
- Legos/building blocks
- Size 6 diapers
- Children’s socks and underwear (all sizes)