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Victim Services Receives $7,500 Grant

Peace River Center Victim Services Receives $7,500 from Publix Super Markets Charities to Support Domestic Violence Survivors

LAKELAND, Fla., May 5, 2022 – In 2021, 396 adults and children received free shelter and domestic violence support services from Peace River Center Victim Services. This important program is possible thanks to sponsors like Publix Super Markets Charities, who recently donated $7,500 to support survivors in Polk, Hardee, and Highlands Counties.

“Publix Super Markets Charities’ ongoing support allows us to come alongside survivors and provide them with safety, healing, and hope for a violence-free future,” said Ileana Kniss, Director of Community Relations and Development at Peace River Center. She said one of the biggest benefits of their shelters, which are located in confidential locations in Lakeland and Sebring, is that they are pet-friendly.

“Oftentimes victims refuse to leave their pets behind. When escaping an abusive, dangerous situation it’s a relief to know your pet is safe too. Plus pets are comforting to survivors during exceptionally challenging times,” said Kniss.

Beyond shelter services, which totaled 7,465 bed nights last year, Victim Services also provides a 24-hour domestic violence hotline. The hotline is available 365 days a year by calling 863.386.1167 in Hardee/Highlands or 863.413.2700 in Polk County. Additional services provided at no cost to survivors include safety planning, counseling, assessment of children, direct services information and referrals, services management, professional training, survivor support groups, courthouse advocacy, and assistance with Victim’s Compensation Claims. Victim Services also participates in community awareness and education activities to reduce the incidence of sexual violence and domestic/family violence, as well as promote safety and a higher quality of life.

“Publix Super Markets Charities’ mission resonates with our organization, especially the work done in Victim Services. Their website notes they are ‘dedicated to the dignity and value of the human spirit—helping strengthen it to overcome adversity, determined to offer people hope and a choice for the future, and devoted to the highest standards of community involvement as demonstrated by their founder, George W. Jenkins,” said Kniss. “Strengthening survivors and giving them tools for a better future is our passion.”

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Contact: Ileana Kniss
Director of Development and Community Relations
O: 863.519.0575 ext. 6877
C: 863.514.5672