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2-DVS Intro



DVS has been an integral part of the Umatilla and Morrow County - community since 1977.  Our shelters, crisis line, peer-counseling services, community support groups and community education program would be impossible without the efforts of our volunteer staff.

Some of you are committed to women’s issues and find that volunteering contributes to social change in your own community.  Past volunteers tell us that their DVS volunteer experience was helpful in furthering their educational and career goals.  Others are survivors of domestic violence and want to share how they have freed themselves from abusive relationships.  Women who are domestic violence survivors are a strong reminder that women can change their lives. 

We believe that each person has a right to live a life free from violence and the fear of abuse.  All people have the desire and capacity to control their own lives.  DVS seeks to empower adults and children to make positive choices that change their lives.  Domestic violence is the product of a culture that condones violence as a means of conflict resolution.  We strive to change this cultural pattern through community education and social change. 

Struggling to be free from violence in your own home is a difficult and often isolating experience.  With your help as new activists in the movement, we are able to say to adults and children who flee violent homes: “you are not alone.”  Along with 1200 shelters and safe homes programs across the United States (and numerous more worldwide), we welcome you to the movement. 

Welcome to DVS and the Movement against Domestic Violence!


  1. It is the purpose of Domestic Violence Services to provide emergency services to victims of domestic violence and sexual assault and to work toward ending this violence within the community, now and in the future.


1977- A group of citizens met to discuss the growing need for a safe living arrangement for battered women and their children. “The Task Force on Battered Women in Umatilla County” was formed.

1979- Through CETA (Comprehensive Employment & Training Act) project, the Task Force hired a coordinator. A grant from Blue Mountain Economic Development Council funded a crisis line. The crisis line was staffed by trained volunteers from the community during non-business hours.

1980- A shelter was maintained on South Main Street in Pendleton & closed within the year.

1982- Due to the reduction in CETA funding, motels were used for brief shelter stays. Out of state shelters were accessed for longer periods of sheltering victims.

1983- The city of Pendleton donated a house to be used as a shelter located on SE Byers Place.
The State of Oregon imposed a $20.00 tax on marriage licenses for distribution to domestic violence programs. Later, the amount in creased to $25.00.

1985- The agency name was changed to “Domestic Violence Services.”

1991- The Byers Estate was leased to DVS at no cost by the city of Pendleton. The house was restored and became the “Domestic Violence Services Counseling Center.” A Community Block Grant financed the construction of a permanent shelter on the property.

1994- The Pendleton shelter was completed with the ability to shelter twenty-three clients. Governor Barbara  Roberts was the keynote speaker at the ceremony to officially open the six bedroom “Awakening House Shelter.” Efforts by many organizations in the community assisted with furnishings, CTUIR (Confederated Tribes of The Umatilla Indian Reservation), EOCI (Eastern Oregon Correctional Institute), Umatilla Kiwanis, Altrusa International of Pendleton, Head Start, Pendleton school teachers, Mormon Church Wards and “Adopt a Room” contributors.

1995- DVS staff developed “The Cycle of Personal Responsibility,” a problem solving tool to empower victims/survivors. The cycle was featured worldwide in a book titled: It’s Not Okay Anymore-Your Personal Guide to Ending Abuse, Taking Charge and Loving Yourself by Greg Enns and Jan Black.

1996- The Hermiston office, which had operated for a short time in 1992, reopened in May. Services are provided by a bilingual victim’s advocate in a tiny rented office space within the State Office building.

1998- “The Carriage House Transitional Project” began. Responsible residents transition from the shelter to the Carriage House on their journey to safety and self-sufficiency

A VOCA (Victims of Crime Act) new project grant funds a Morrow County Advocate. Morrow County agencies work closely with DVS to share office space and resources.

2000-2001- The City of Hermiston obtained a Community Block Grant to purchase land and build a shelter. GEODC (Greater Eastern Oregon Development Corporation) was contracted to administer the grant. DVS will be responsible for operating and maintaining the shelter.

DVS and Pendleton Woolen mills designed and produced a “purple ribbon blanket” to be used for a fund-raiser. The blankets were advertised in the National Coalition resource catalog and shipped nationally.

A part-time counseling center opens in the basement of Milton-Freewater City-Hall (donated space). This is a collaborative effort between the Milton-Freewater Police Department, City Hall and DVS.

2001- The Boardman Counseling Center moved into a larger office within the Boardman State Office building.

First Annual Soup Bowl Supper was held at BMCC.

2002- “Casa de Esperanza” (House of Hope) was dedicated on July 18 and began sheltering women and children in mid-August. The new shelter has the ability to shelter twenty-six clients.

2008- The city of Hermiston gave the Casa de Esperanza Shelter property to DVS.


1971-Movement gains momentum in UK with first shelter. 

1972-Women’s Advocates, St.Paul, MN, starts first hotline.  WA and Haven House, Pasadena, CA, est. first Shelter.

1974-First Book about DV from a battered woman’s perspective: Scream Quietly or the Neighbors will Hear, Erin Pizzy

1976-NOW form task force to examine problem of battering (research and funds).

    •  First US feminist publication showing wife beating deeply rooted in sexism; Battered Wives, Del Martin.
    •  First national directory of individuals and groups helping battered women: Working on Wife Abuse, Betsy Warrior.
    • Nebraska becomes the first state to abolish marital rate exemption.
    •  PA established first state coalition against DV also the first state to create a statute providing orders of protection for victims of DV.
    • First conference on battered women held in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, by Milwaukee Task Force on Battered Women.

1977-National Communication Network for the Elimination of Violence against Women, first newsletter on battered Women published. 

    • Oregon becomes first state to enact legislation mandating arrest for DV.

1978-US Commission on Civil Rights holds “Consultation on Battered Women” in Washington, D.C.  Brings together hundreds of activists and results in Battered Women: Issues of Public policy, offering 700 pages of written and oral testimony.

    • National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, the grassroots organization which becomes the voice of battered women’s movement on the national level organized.  NCADV establishes vision and philosophy that guides hundreds of local programs and state coalitions.  It initiated the introduction of the Family Violence Prevention and Services Act in the Congress.
    • Law Enforcement Assistance Administration grants 11 grants to family violence projects to provide range of services.
    • MN first state to allow probable cause (without a warrant) arrest in cases of domestic assault, regardless of whether a protection order has been issued against the offender.
1979-Office of Domestic Violence established in US Dept. of Health and Human Services, but closed in 1981.
    • First Congressional hearings on issues of DV are held.

1980-First National Day of Unity in October established by NCADV to mourn victims and celebrate survivors.  In 1987, it is expanded to month of awareness activities.

    • First national conference with 600 representatives from 49 states.  The conference gains federal recognition and births several state coalitions.

1983-Based on a Police Foundation study conducted in Minneapolis, which finds that arrest reduces likelihood of repeat violence, many police departments establish pro-arrest policies in cases of DV.  

1984-US Attorney General established Task Force on Family Violence to examine scope and nature of problem.  Final report offers recommendations for action in many areas, including criminal justice response, prevention and awareness, education and training, and data collection and reporting.

    • Passage of the Family Violence Prevention and Services Act through grassroots lobbying efforts; earmarks federal funding for program serving victims of DV.
    • Florida becomes first state to enact legislation mandating consideration of spouse abuse in child custody determinations.

1985-Thurman vs. Torrington.  Tracy Thurman wins a case against Connecticut police for failing to protect her from husband’s violence.  Won a $2 million judgment against the city.  Suit leads to CT’s passage of mandatory arrest law.

    • US Surgeon General identifies DV as a major health problem

1987-NCADV established first toll free DV hot line.

1988-Sate Vs. Ciskie: first case to allow expert testimony to explain behavior and mental state of an adult rape victim and why someone assaulted by intimate partner might not call police or take action.  Jury convicts defendant on 4 counts of rape.

1995-US Congress passes a crime bill that included the Violence Against Women Act.  DV becomes known as a gender-based crime against women.  Initial money to directly support victim and justice system program to end DV cut drastically by new congressional leadership.



DVS operates one 26 and one 24 bed confidential shelter for women who are fleeing domestic violence.  Women may reside in the emergency shelter for up to 4 weeks.  We provide shelter for battered men in alternate locations.  During the shelter stay, we provide peer-counseling, support groups, legal and financial advocacy, emergency transportation, and information on other local services and referrals.  We also help develop a plan and identify goals, and provide resources to meet those goals; such as, learning opportunities for developing self-sufficiency. Not all survivors seeking shelter come to a DVS shelter.  For example, we may help network a woman to another shelter in a different area, and help figure out an alternate plan that best suits the need.


Volunteers are trained to staff our 24-hour telephone hot line during non-business hours.  All calls are kept completely confidential to protect the safety and privacy of the callers.  We seek to empower, support and educate battered adults and their friends and family about the dynamics of domestic violence.  We also provide information to professionals and refer others to the resources they need.  Additionally, crisis line volunteers provide suggestions on emergency planning and restraining orders for people who want to escape their abusers.


The Advocacy Center is a where the community may go to receive information and support.  Trained advocates are available Monday through Friday by appointment to work with a client’s various needs.  Advocates provide referrals to community resources, assist people in accessing these services, educate clients, do safety planning and also assistance with filing restraining orders.  We operate one full time center in Pendleton and one full time center in Hermiston. We also operate one part-time center in Milton-Freewater and one in Boardman.


This program works to educate the community about domestic violence through presentations in Umatilla/Morrow County area schools (elementary to high), community/religious organizations, clubs and partner agencies.


Weekly drop-in support groups facilitated by staff and volunteers for women provide on-going support to women who are or have been in abusive relationships. 


Direct Service


Crisis line volunteers staff our 24-hour hot line evenings and weekends at home.  Volunteers use crisis intervention and active listening skills to safety plan, help problem-solve or give information referrals to battered adults, their friends and family or other service providers. Crisis line volunteers perform initial screening of families who want shelter.  If the caller has a safe place to stay, the volunteer will give referrals to the office for the following business   day. If the safety planning finds there is no viable option for safe shelter before then and the caller is found eligible and appropriate for shelter the volunteer will work as a team with staff in providing the caller with immediate safe shelter.  Teamwork is necessary to successfully arrange for families to get to the shelter or other safe housing. 

Additional Services


People who experience domestic violence are often very isolated, and may feel alone.  All volunteers are welcome to participate in a vital part of reaching them through our outreach and visibility with information booths and tables at a variety of locations and events year round. 


Occasionally DVS is in need of someone who will work in the yard or perform minor maintenance, this person would be "on call" as needed. 

We also invite people to participate in special fund raising events on various levels including supply drives; this individual is "on call" as needed.

Behind the Scenes


The DVS Board of Directors, which can consist of up to 6-15 individuals, is responsible for setting policy, overseeing finances and fundraising.  Motivated, forward-looking individuals are encouraged to volunteer.  To apply for a position on the board write a brief letter of interest with background information and complete a Board of Director’s volunteer application for submission to the Executive Director.  This will be sent to the Board of Directors for consideration. This individual would NOT participate in direct client services.   


Expectation of Workers


The usual volunteer commitment is a shift per week with a six-month commitment unless special arrangements are made.  Please inform your supervisor if you need to change or end your commitment and allow one month notice if you are ending your work with DVS.


Attendance is expected of all volunteers at meetings and trainings scheduled by your supervisor.


Regular debriefing is highly encouraged as it is an important ingredient in ensuring effectiveness.  It allows for volunteers to pass on important and pertinent information about clients and on-going issues to other volunteers and staff, thus providing continuity and quality of service to clients. In addition, it gives volunteers opportunity to seek support in continuing effectiveness in this challenging area of work.



701 Employee Conduct and Work Rules

To ensure orderly operations and provide the best possible work environment, DVS expects employees to follow rules of conduct that will protect the interests and safety of all employees and the organization.

It is not possible to list all the forms of behavior that are considered unacceptable in the workplace. The following are examples of infractions of rules of conduct that may result in disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment:

Disregard for staff’s safety or omitting pertinent information from client records which may threaten staff safety.

  • Falsifying documents to allow clients to enter shelter
  • Fraternizing with clients outside the workplace
  • Theft or inappropriate removal of possession of property
  • Falsification of timekeeping records
  • Working under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs
  • Possession, distribution, sale, transfer, or use of alcohol or illegal drugs in the workplace while on duty or while operating employer-owned vehicles or equipment
  • Fighting or threatening violence in the workplace
  • Boisterous or disruptive activity in the workplace
  • Negligence or improper conduct leading to damage of employer-owned or client-owned property
  • Insubordination or other disrespectful conduct
  • Violation of safety or health rules
  • Smoking in prohibited areas
  • Sexual or other unlawful or unwelcome harassment
  • Possession of dangerous or unauthorized materials, such as explosives or firearms, in the workplace
  • Excessive absenteeism or any absence without notice
  • Unauthorized absence from work station during the workday
  • Unauthorized use of telephones, mail system, or other employer-owned equipment
  • Unauthorized disclosure of business “secrets” or confidential information
  • Violation of personnel policies
  • Unsatisfactory performance or conduct

Employment with DVS is at the mutual consent of DVS and the employee, and either party may terminate that relationship at any time, with or without cause, and with or without advance notice.

Statistics Reporting

Volunteers are responsible for keeping a record of the calls they take and reporting them via volunteer statistic sheets, monthly to your supervisor.



Code of Ethics

It should be noted that the following recommendations have been derived from sections on the Code of Ethics prepared by the National Association of Social Workers.

Professionalism — Staff should maintain high standards of personal conduct in the capacity of identity as staff/volunteer. The private conduct of staff/volunteer is a personal matter to the same degree as is any other person’s, except when such conduct compromises the fulfillment of program responsibilities.  The staff/volunteer should distinguish clearly between statements and actions made as a private individual and as a representative of DVS.  If a staff/volunteer is engaged with an agency that has mandatory reporting status that shall not be in effect while a staff/volunteer is working for DVS.

Anti-discrimination — Staff/volunteer should act in accordance with the highest standards of integrity and impartiality. The staff/volunteer should exercise objectivity and impartial judgment regardless of personal biases or beliefs.  Crisis workers will be required to work with adults and children with diverse religious, cultural and philosophical backgrounds, as well as various sexual orientations. The staff/volunteer should not exploit working relationships for professional gain.

Core Values and Beliefs

We respect the individual and believe that individuals who are treated with respect and given responsibility respond by giving their best.

We require complete honesty and integrity in everything we do.

We are frugal and conserve the agency’s resources with at least the same consideration we give to conserve our own resources.

We insist on giving our best effort in every task we undertake. We see a big difference between “honest mistakes” (best effort, bad result) and “bad mistakes” (sloppiness or lack of effort).

Clarity in understanding our mission, our goals and what we expect from each other is critical to our success.

In all our dealings, we will strive to be friendly and courteous as well as compassionate and fair.

We feel a sense of urgency on any matters related to our clients. We are client driven.

We own our own problems and are responsible for our actions.


Staff/volunteers may not take or use any donations given to DVS. This includes food, clothes, household items, as well as larger items. Approved distribution procedures must be followed in distributing donations.  


If a client approaches you with a complaint or concern about the program, PLEASE pass this on to your back-up.    


Sometimes a client may tell you that another client has violated the rules.  Contact your back-up to discuss the issue.


Mandatory Reporting vs Ethical Reporting

About Reporting Child Abuse

Advocates for Domestic Violence Services are not mandatory reporters. If a survivor discloses child abuse, or there is suspicion of child abuse, immediately contact your backup after the hotline call. Your backup will ask you questions regarding the information disclosed and then assess the situation. If a report is necessary, the backup will make the report for you. 

If you are a mandatory reporter outside of DVS, we encourage you to tell the caller you are a mandatory reporter if you feel she may be close to disclosing child abuse during the call. By telling the survivor you are a mandatory reporter you offer her the option of disclosing and preparing for the safety of herself and her children if a report is made. If the survivor discloses anyway, remind her that you will be making a report, ask her if she has any safety concerns (she may need shelter once a report is made, etc.), and call your backup before making the report (the backup always needs to be informed of this situation).

Definitions of Abuse

Child Abuse is defined in the Federal Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act as the “physical or mental injury, sexual abuse, negligent treatment or maltreatment of a child under the age of 18 by a person who is responsible for the child’s welfare under circumstances which indicate that the child’s health or welfare is harmed or threatened.”

Physical Abuse

We define abuse as any act that results in non-accidental injury to a child. It may involve slapping, biting, beating, burning, shaking, throwing, punching, etc.—any action that harms a child. This abuse may stem from the belief that children need harsh punishment; may be a direct result of violence in the home against the mother, or may be the abuser’s need to exert control over the child. Physical abuse may lead to painful injuries and serious medical problems. This damage may lead to disability or even death.

Emotional Maltreatment

Emotional abuse involves the deliberate presence of rejecting, terrorizing, ignoring,
isolating, corrupting, and other actions and/or language that harm the child. It also involves the absence of love and acceptance for the child. These behaviors occur deliberately and consistently over time. Emotional abuse often accompanies other forms of abuse and may
 be a warning sign for abuse happening in the home. Children may have low self-esteem, undeveloped emotional growth and expression, and may not trust others.


We define neglect as the willful omission of acts that protect a child or permits the child’s health or welfare to be in jeopardy. This often results in lack of adequate supervision, education, food, clothing, medical attention, and shelter. It is important to not confuse neglect with low-income or poverty—concentrate on the parent’s negligence. Children depend on adults for security, guidance, and acceptance, and when adults neglect children—their world can seem uncertain and frightening.

Sexual Abuse

Sexual abuse includes many behaviors directed at or involving a child: abuse of sexuality, seductive sexualization, inappropriate relationship with an older person, intrusive actions, and identifiable abuse such as touching, oral sex, penetration, etc. Children are most often abused by someone they know and often intimidated into keeping the abuse a secret. Sexual abuse may lead to physical and somatic complaints, childhood to adulthood depression, intimacy problems in peer relationships, and memory lapses due to repression. Being believed and supported is the most important factor in the child’s recovery from the abuse. 


 At Domestic Violence Services, we expect you to be knowledgeable of your mandatory reporting requirements and NOT make reports that are not valid. Our philosophy is that we attempt to empower a parent to get help on their own (or with our assistance) to address their children's issues. Our position is to support our clients in a positive manner and not superimpose our belief systems or bias over our clients.