‘Changing the narrative’: Haven House joins chamber of commerce; spreading message in community

Published 9:20 am Saturday, February 17, 2024

Haven House in Vicksburg has been going about its mission of assisting victims and those affected by domestic violence and abuse for nearly 40 years. Last week’s ceremony marking its official entry into the Vicksburg-Warren County Chamber of Commerce is all part of an overall plan to further that cause, Executive Director Dr. Christine Bridges said.

“We, as an organization, have been in the community for 38 years,” Bridges said. “So, what we’re trying to do is partner with different organizations and get the message out of who we are and the services we provide here in Vicksburg. We’re changing the narrative.”

And part of those services provided by Haven House is educating local residents on the dangers of domestic violence, how to recognize it, and what to do if themselves or a loved one become involved in an unhealthy or dangerous relationship.

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Saturday, Feb. 10, Bridges and other Haven House personnel were on hand at the Gertrude A. Young Jackson Street Community Center to speak to teenagers about the importance of healthy relationships.

“It was really very informative,” Bridges said. “We were able to have speakers and talk about teen violence and also about domestic violence and abuse. We were able to speak to some of the youth, so overall it was really good.”

Saturday’s community forum was part of Haven House’s overall goal for the month of February, highlighting violence and abuse in teenage relationships. Earlier this month, the Warren County Board of Supervisors issued a proclamation on behalf of Haven House declaring February “Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month” in Warren County.

In March, Bridges said Haven House will move toward another goal, this time with local law enforcement in mind.

“We’ll be doing tours of the police precincts,” she said. “We’re going to go out there and talk to them about Haven House. We service a 90-mile radius. We’re going up to the Greenville area, and we service a lot of the Issaquena, Sharkey counties areas, so we’re going to be out in the community, meeting with those police chiefs and mayors, letting them know who we are, putting our information in their hands. And, if they need us, they can give us a call.”