CASA providing support for domestic violence survivors in Marion County
In Pinellas County, Florida, Community Action Stops Abuse (CASA) has been a beacon of hope for victims of domestic violence since 1977. Last month, their mission extended its reach as CASA embarked on an expansion into Marion County, addressing a pressing need highlighted by Sheriff Billy Woods.
Woods expressed the gravity of the situation, stating, "Thirty-five percent of violent crimes are domestic families. There is no other call that even comes close to battery and domestic violence."
The community recently faced a setback with the loss of its only certified shelter, leaving many vulnerable individuals without a safe haven. Recognizing the urgency of the situation, CASA stepped in to fill the void.
Lariana Forsythe, CEO of CASA, has been tirelessly working with the organization for six years.
She emphasized the importance of addressing domestic violence, stating, "Domestic violence is a very underreported crime. One in three women and one in four men will experience domestic violence at some point in their life."
Forsythe's mission is clear: to raise awareness and ensure that victims know they are not alone. Forsythe announced that the county is in the process of finalizing a location for the new CASA shelter. This 24-hour safe house is estimated to accommodate thirty to forty beds and open within the next few months. This expansion will more than double the amount of space offered in CASA's current temporary shelter, significantly enhancing its ability to support those in need.