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Quincy group aiding abuse victims holds Jan. 19 fund-raiser

Posted by Jessica Bartlett  January 11, 2013 11:29 AM

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A Quincy group that supports victims of domestic violence will hold a Jan. 19 fundraiser intended to help the organization stay afloat for several months and continue to provide outreach.

The Massachusetts Survivors Outreach group is a grass roots organization in Quincy helping victims of abuse through the legal, medical, and economic difficulties associated with the trauma.

In operation officially since 2011, the group’s members have been providing help to victims since 2005, initially just offering support out of their own homes.

“People started searching us out,” said Laura Joseph, a health care professional and member of the group. “I started doing meditation classes with various organizations. It was probably about mid-2011 that we started realizing we had more than we could do in our basement.”

The group has since branched out, obtaining a confidential space in Quincy that victims can come to for support, and offering classes and services for those in need.

Because the organization is entirely volunteer-run, fund-raising is a key component of the group’s success, Joseph said.

“These fund-raisers are to keep our doors open so these victims have a place to go,” Joseph said.

With that goal in mind, the Massachusetts Survivors Outreach will host an evening with four spiritual mediums on Jan. 19 from 1 to 4 p.m. at The Moorings at Squantum Gardens.

Tickets are $40 in advance or $45 at the door. Numerous raffle items will also be available. Each attendee will be given one free raffle ticket when he or she walks in the door.

The group is hoping to raise $3,000 with the event, which would take care of the organization’s small overhead for several months.

Though necessary, the fundraising is only the starting point of what the organization hopes to accomplish.

According to Joseph, volunteers are actively seeking donors who would like to support the organization becoming an official non-profit.

From there, sponsors can help the group accomplish bigger goals, including the completion of two potential studies looking into the effects of domestic abuse.

“Our biggest challenge is funding,” Joseph said. “I have two studies we want to launch tomorrow if we have the funding.”

The first study would look at the correlation between breast cancer and abuse, a trend Joseph has seen in a survey of people with breast cancer.

The second study would target the problems prevalent in the family court system by surveying college students who have been victims of abuse, and detailing their difficulties going through the process.

“Because funding has been cut, [courts] are very good at getting the victim to leave, but once they leave, they drop the ball,” Joseph said. “These victims are begging and pleading for help, but they are getting the run-around and not getting answers.”

A study would provide enough evidence to hopefully change that, showing the harm being done by not following through with so many victims of domestic violence.

Yet those studies are still a long way off. At this stage, fund-raising would help pay the bills for the Quincy organization and also help the group become an official non-profit.

“These fund-raisers are to help keep us open while we’re looking to solve the bigger financial issues,” Joseph said.

For more information about the organization, visit their website or their Facebook page.

To buy tickets, click here.

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