45 YEARS OF SHELTER
Columbus Regional Shelter for Victims of Domestic Violence, Inc. (d.b.a., Turning Point Domestic Violence Services) has been providing victim services since 1975. Raised in Columbus, Indiana, sisters Rickie and Barbara Steeb founded the Columbus Regional Women's Shelter, Indiana's second women's shelter. Services began as the Columbus Women's Center and provided shelter for victims of domestic violence in Columbus, Indiana at the local Woodlawn Motel. On August 6, 1980, the Columbus Regional Shelter for Victims of Domestic Violence, Inc. (d.b.a. Turning Point Domestic Violence Services) was incorporated. The 25-bed Emergency Shelter now serves a seven-county area including Bartholomew, Brown, Decatur, Jackson, Jennings, Johnson, and Shelby counties.
Turning Point’s major accomplishments over the years include the addition of the toll free, 24 hour, 7 day Crisis/Helpline in 1986. This program allows victims of interpersonal violence to access services without jeopardizing their identity or incurring charges on their phone bill. Also accomplished in 1986, was Turning Point’s expansion of services to underserved victims of sexual assault. From 1998-2003 non-residential service offices were established in Bartholomew, Brown, Jackson, Johnson, & Shelby counties-helping reach additional victims that are not seeking shelter. In 2002, the organization added an in-house emergency shelter case manager position to allow for longer-term case management, more substantial client assessments, and dedicated supportive services. Continuing program growth in 2007 allowed the agency to implement a Latina Victim Services Coordinator role to serve the growing number of Hispanic victims in its service region.
In 2005 Turning Point began to focus on primary prevention services and completed the first 2 prevention programs. Other crucial additions to the Turning Point staff and services included the 2008 addition of a Ph.D level Director of Client Services and Training, as well as the implementation of a Transitional Housing Unit and services program in 2010 which provides victims of violence with affordable long term housing (up to 24 months) coupled with continued case management services. During this same timeframe, legal advocacy, professional assessment, children's services, academic tutoring, human needs assistance and substance & alcohol abuse education were also added.
In 2011, the agency successfully expanded services to focus on prevention, along with intervention services. Prevention programming has grown substantially since 2005 in the five (5) service counties and now is designed to stop domestic violence in the next generation as well as reduce risks of its occurrence in those who already have risk factors. This year also marked the creation of the Bartholomew County Teens for Change advocacy group, who works together to promote healthy relationships in our community and others. They plan, organize and execute events to help educate the community about Dating Violence.
Turning Point provides prevention education in school classrooms, prevention trainings to healthcare providers as part of the universal screening process with patients, and community-wide prevention education programming designed to create a network of empowered citizens to encourage a zero tolerance of domestic violence throughout their communities. In 2015 the agency updated the mission to include dating violence prevention. The mission of Turning Point Domestic Violence Services is now, to work towards the prevention and the elimination of dating and domestic violence.