Pages for Change is working to create a future in which domestic violence and sexual assault are things of the past. We want to ensure that people dealing with domestic violence and sexual assault have all of the information they need to escape and to heal. We aim to educate the public about domestic violence and sexual assault, in the hopes that people will hold perpetrators of abuse and rape accountable for their actions, rather than blaming their victims. The Centers for Disease Control estimates that 1 in 4 women and 1 in 7 men experience domestic violence in their lifetimes, and 1 in 5 women and 1 in 70 men experience sexual assault in their lifetimes. We hope to reduce the number of women and men who experience domestic violence and sexual assault in south central Indiana by making information and resources about these topics more accessible.
Middle Way House’s Pages for Change project seeks to educate the public about the realities of domestic violence and sexual assault and provide important resources for victims of abuse who are thinking of leaving their partners or trying to stay safe and heal after living through domestic violence or sexual assault. Many people experiencing domestic violence or sexual abuse do not know where to turn for help and information. The goal of Pages for Change is to make sure that every public and college library in our region (Monroe, Greene, Lawrence, Owen, Morgan, and Martin Counties) has adequate information on domestic violence and sexual assault, as well as information on where survivors can get help. We have identified 20 books that provide vital information about the tactics abusers use, why abusers behave the way they do, how to safely leave a violent or controlling relationship, how to recover from the mental and emotional injuries of domestic violence and sexual assault, and how to support a loved one who is a survivor of domestic violence or sexual assault. These books are aimed at survivors of physical and emotional abuse from a variety of cultural and ethnic groups as well as friends and family members who want to help them. Of the 19 libraries in our region, 26% do not have any of these books, and an additional 58% have fewer than 4 of the 20 books. Pages for Change seeks to remedy this problem by providing each of these 19 libraries with one to two circulating copies and a few non-circulating copies of the 20 books that we have selected. We will add a book plate to each book that gives the contact information of the nearest domestic violence shelter and rape crisis center, as well as a list of the non-residential services that each program provides.
Middle Way House is a domestic violence shelter and rape crisis center serving women and men in six counties in south central Indiana. Middle Way House has been a vital part of the Bloomington community since 1971, when it began as a treatment center for drug and alcohol addiction and a sexual health clinic. Since then the organization has shifted its focus to serve survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault and has expanded its reach to the counties surrounding Bloomington. Middle Way House now offers many award winning programs for survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault, including safe housing, crisis intervention, legal and personal advocacy, childcare, and many more resources.
Pages for Change was developed to address the lack of resources on domestic violence and sexual assault available in local libraries. Many of Middle Way House’s clients lack the financial resources to access the internet from home or purchase books. Public libraries are therefore a vital source of information, and it is important to ensure that they are well stocked with books on how to cope with domestic violence and sexual assault. By supporting Pages for Change, donors will be providing much needed resources for survivors and individuals currently experiencing domestic violence or sexual assault.