On the Shoofly - August 2019
The Gulf Coast Center for Nonviolence has been providing support and services to adults and children in South Mississippi impacted by domestic violence, sexual assault and homicide since 1977.
But even though the Center celebrated 42 years of service on the Gulf Coast this year, many still don’t know that the agency’s services are available across the lower six counties in Mississippi, including Hancock County.
In 2018 alone, the Center served 2,367 people. Of those 2,367 people, 435 were from Hancock County. Many of those were served from their Hancock County office, centrally located in Bay St. Louis, near the hospital.
On the Shoofly
is sponsored by
The Gulf Coast Center for Nonviolence hopes to raise awareness in the Hancock County community about the victims they continue to serve and the programs available to meet the victims' needs, including:
- A Domestic Violence Program that provides case management services, counseling and crisis intervention at two emergency shelters.
- A Sexual Assault Program that provides crisis intervention, counseling, and 24/7 hospital response.
- A Children’s Program that features counseling and a therapeutic preschool for children ages 3 to 5 affected by violence.
- A Justice Program that includes court advocacy, a domestic violence intervention program for batterers, and a legal clinic that provides free civil legal services.
- A Survivors of Homicide Program for friends and family members who have lost a loved one to murder.
- And an Outreach Education Program that educates community members, students, law enforcement and professionals in South Mississippi on the dynamics and effects of interpersonal violence.
While the Center offers all of these services to Hancock County residents, the agency’s Hancock County office allows for a Court Advocate to be readily available in Hancock County Justice Court, Waveland Municipal Court and Bay St. Louis Municipal Court.
The Court Advocate presents in these courts to advocate for victims of domestic violence by sitting with them in their emotional space, giving them support, and making sure they feel safe while facing their abusers.
Counseling and case management services are also offered through the Nonresidential Program at this Hancock County office. The Center has an Outreach Adult Counselor and an Outreach Children’s Counselor who meet clients right in Bay St. Louis, so that they do not have to travel to access services - which is essential in making sure these professionals are available to clients on their schedules.
Additionally, the Center’s Court Advocates and Counselors in Hancock County work directly with staff across the agency’s six-county service area providing referrals to emergency shelter, counseling, and legal services. This connection in Hancock County is crucial to educating community members, as well as victims of violence on what meaningful services are available to them during their time of need.
The Gulf Coast Center for Nonviolence is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 800-800-1396. The direct number for the Hancock County office (during business hours) is 228-252-1999.
Their services are confidential, and safety is their top priority. If you or someone you know may be in need of services following a violent relationship, a sexual assault, or you have lost someone to homicide, please know you are not alone. GCCN is there to help and to advocate for justice and your rights as a victim of crime.
You deserve to feel safe in your home. You deserve safety for your children. You deserve a violence-free life. They can help.