Schae Richards, community editor
Citizens against physical and Sexual Abuse (CAPSA) is a non-profit domestic violence, sexual assault, and rape recovery center that serves the Cache Valley and Bear Lake areas. “Our goal is to help people get out of abusive relationships and to help them heal from any of the associated trauma with domestic violence or sexual assault,” James Boyd, development director for CAPSA, said.
CAPSA offers free supportive services to individuals and families, including emergency shelter, therapy services, and 24-hour crisis support line.
James says their emergency shelter is for people who have left an abusive relationship and who need a safe place to stay as they get back on their feet. The shelter has 32 beds in eight bedrooms, and also features a dining room and living area.
Last year, CAPSA provided a safe place for 374 people in their emergency shelter. He said their clients typically stay an average of 30 days, and during that time, CAPSA helps them find employment and housing and establish a supportive network.
James said they couldn’t do what they do without the incredible support of the community partnerships, including Lazy One and Malouf.
Both of these locally-based companies are making CAPSA’s emergency shelter a comfortable and peaceful place to be. Malouf currently provides all of the bedding (comforters, pillows, sheets, and mattress protectors) for the rooms, and Lazy One provides pajamas for the men, women, and children staying at the shelter.
Kacie Malouf, co-founder of Malouf and CAPSA board member, said Malouf has been donating products to the organization for about three years. “The reason we want to help CAPSA is because we know the good they are doing in the community, and know that we are producing something that fulfills a primary need,” Kacie said.
Similarly, Liesl Hoopes, owner of Lazy One, said they want to help these individuals and families. “We appreciate any organization thats goal is to help families that are in need or in trouble and help them get back on their feet,” she said. “To me, that’s who we are; we are about families, so we want to help them get back into life and help them get a fresh start.”
Jill Anderson, executive director of CAPSA, said their staff values these community partnerships and their contributions. “We support nearly 400 individuals every year; we couldn’t do that without their support. These items are the start to someone’s violent-free life,” she said.
CAPSA serves an additional 919 clients through their other services, such as their casework and therapy services. Within the last three years, they have expanded their therapy services to include seven full-time therapists who all specialize in domestic violence and sexual assault. “We’re giving specialized services, and we understand the dynamics of domestic violence and sexual assault,” he said.
When talking about the effects of physical and sexual abuse, James said many of their clients experience post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). “You often hear of PTSD with war zones, so imagine your home being the war zone and not being able to turn off and relax at night.”
James said the domestic violence rate in Utah is a slightly higher rate than the national average. He said one in three women, and one in seven men in Utah will experience either domestic violence or sexual assault in their lifetime.
With that being said, James said one of the most important things people can do to support their cause is to bring awareness to the issue. “Domestic violence happens at a much higher rate than people realize,” he said. “Often times, people only picture it as being physical abuse. First of all, domestic violence can be physical abuse, but it can also be emotional abuse; it can be isolating someone; it can be using any power to control someone.”
James describes domestic violence as one of the worst crimes in the United States. He said this is why CAPSA spends countless hours preventing domestic abuse by educating the community. Last year, the organization gave 599 presentations on topics, including healthy relationships, anti-bullying, confidence building, and more at local middle schools and high schools, educating more than 15,000 students. “We are changing relationships and the way we look at relationships,” he said.
He encourages everyone to be aware of the signs of domestic violence and be willing to listen to someone who may be in an abusive situation. “We always say to people, ‘We believe you. We will listen to you. We will help you. You don’t have to do it alone,’” he said. “This is our area of expertise, and we know how to help.”
For more information or to find support, call their 24-hour crisis support line at (435) 753-2500, or visit capsa.org.