Not-for-profit leader to head new city domestic violence program

A domestic violence survivor and community leader will head Indianapolis’ new domestic violence initiative, the Office of Public Health and Safety announced Monday.

Danyette Smith founded Indianapolis-based not-for-profit Silent No More Inc., in 2015, shortly after she herself escaped an abusive relationship. Now she’ll be leading the new support program, administered by the Indy Public Safety Foundation.

The program is designed to help those living through domestic violence recognize the abuse, escape it and then recover and rebuild, according to a news release. The initiative is also meant to help current service providers coordinate their efforts.

“The needs of domestic violence survivors are vast,” said Dane Nutty, the foundation’s executive director, in a news release. “There are countless organizations and activists doing incredible work in our community, and this effort will help streamline those processes, bring more resources and support to the collective work, and release the burden off of individuals in the cycles of an abusive relationship.”

The Indianapolis City-County Council initially approved $370 million in July for response services and domestic violence advocates. Indianapolis added another $250,0000 in federal American Rescue Plan funding in September for domestic violence-related wraparound services. The program is part of Mayor Joe Hogsett’s administration’s $150 million-plus violence reduction initiative.

An additional $105,500 from the Central Indiana Foundation went to The Domestic Violence Network, while Silent No More received $81,400.

“This program represents a historic commitment from the city to dedicate time and resources to the unique needs of domestic violence victims and survivors,” said Lauren Rodriguez, who directs the Office of Public Health and Safety. “Domestic violence continues to be a huge contributor to gun-related deaths. By expanding and amplifying the existing efforts in our community, this work helps save lives.”

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