Marianne Kennedy is on the front lines of Rutland's war against domestic violence.
"The need is just overwhelming," she said.
Kennedy works for the Rutland County Women's Network & Shelter. Recently, the organization won a $200,000 U.S. Department of Justice grant to tackle a growing problem in the Rutland area.
"For 2012, we have had over 3,000-- almost 4,000 bed nights just in our shelter here, for women who are looking for emergency shelter as victims of domestic violence," Kennedy said.
Rutland is one of 12 cities selected to get the money across the nation. Here, the money will enable police and victims' advocates to better work together.
"A lack of a healthy line of communication between the police, the advocacy community, the courts, the probation and parole, and the social services that treat individuals that are abusers," Rutland City Police Chief James Baker said.
The goal is to end homicides from domestic abuse. Police say there has been one in the last decade in Rutland, but the potential is there for many more. Rutland has the highest number of temporary restraining orders in the state. The number of permanent restraining orders is dramatically lower.
"We are either having victims change their minds-- which is a dangerous situation-- or we are not doing a good enough job at preparing victims to go in front of a judge," Baker said.
"This is a very critical piece to the puzzle," Rutland Mayor Chris Louras said. "We have already identified domestic abuse and some abuse that is associated with it as clearly one of the problems facing the city. And we recognize that is going to be going a long way."
Kennedy says she believes Rutland was chosen to get the federal funds because of its long-term strategies connecting various agencies. She says that will allow for fast and effective change. So, one day there won't be a need.
"We are hoping to go out of business," Kennedy said.
The breakdown of the grant money is still uncertain, but Rutland officials say part of it will fund a full-time domestic abuse advocate at the police station.
Saturday, March 8 2014 9:49 PM EST2014-03-09 02:49:49 GMT
The Burlington Yoga Conference began Saturday at UVM's Davis Center. The event gives participants a chance to connect the mind body and soul through workshops they may not have access to on a daily basis.More >>
The Burlington Yoga Conference began 6 years ago and has become a staple in the community.More >>
Saturday, March 8 2014 9:29 PM EST2014-03-09 02:29:17 GMT
A warning for pet owners in our region. Coyotes are on the prowl. A biologist in New Hampshire says he has received more than 10 calls recently, in the Keene, New Hampshire area, for a deer that was takenMore >>
Saturday, March 8 2014 9:21 PM EST2014-03-09 02:21:44 GMT
As spring approaches, many Vermont homeowners prepare to work on their houses - so they head to the Burlington Home Show. And many Vermont small business owners - with their products and services on displayMore >>
Many business owners at the Burlington Home Show say the new health care system in Vermont is helpful, but some say it's causing a real headache.More >>
Saturday, March 8 2014 8:07 PM EST2014-03-09 01:07:08 GMT
A rally at the State House in Montpelier Saturday. A passionate group of dozens of women, and men, assembled in front of the State House Saturday for the Women's March for Dignity. They were demandingMore >>
Women's March for Dignity say they are demanding lawmakers support paid sick day policies for all workers.More >>
Saturday, March 8 2014 10:21 AM EST2014-03-08 15:21:27 GMT
Two firefighters are recovering from minor injuries. They were injured while fighting a at the Bennett Farm on Route 15 on the Johnson-Cambridge town line. The fire started in a shed around 7:30 FridayMore >>
Two firefighters are recovering from minor injuries.More >>
Saturday, March 8 2014 10:20 AM EST2014-03-08 15:20:42 GMT
Friends are rallying around families who lost everything in an apartment building fire in St. Johnsbury. They immediately took to Facebook after hearing about this fire and started planning to collectMore >>
Friends are rallying around families who lost everything in an apartment building fire in St. Johnsbury.More >>
Saturday, March 8 2014 10:20 AM EST2014-03-08 15:20:05 GMT
Reporter: "What are some of the most common burn injuries that we see with kids coming into the hospital?" Jim Esdon, Dartmouth Hitchcock Injury Prevention Center: "This time of year, the glass frontedMore >>
We've had another cold week that's left homeowners cranking the heat. But what does that mean for kids' safety?More >>
Saturday, March 8 2014 10:19 AM EST2014-03-08 15:19:21 GMT
Armed with just two L rods, 87-year-old John Wayne Blassingame starts looking for water by asking yes or no questions. "Does it go past 20 feet, does it go past 30 feet, yah," he says. The rods crossingMore >>
A national organization based in Danville says it is providing resources to people in desperate need to find water.More >>